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The Rev. Sir GEORGE W. COX, Bart., M.A., 






A brief introductory sketch has been given of tlie 
time before the roll of European conquest to the East^ 
and a more detailed description of the course of events 
between the coming of the Portuguese and ourselves. 
I have written a tolerably full account of the process 
by which the West of India came under the British 
flag, bringing in what happened in other parts of 
the Peninsula so far only as to elucidate the events 
that took place in Bombay. With this object., and 
to give a greater degree of continuity to the narrative, 
there runs through the book a short account of the 
supreme power wliether at Delhi or Calcutta. 

E. C. COX. 

Alibag, Kolaba, August 29tJi, 188G. 

Postscript. — My best thanks are due to K. M. Chatfield, 
Esq., M.A., Director of Public Instruction, for his 
kind aid in the publication of this book. 

E. C. C. 


As a general rule, the authorised Government spelling 
has been followed, and the subjoined table explains the 
system : — 

A unaccented 


A accented 



Ay Y 








































An exception has been made in the following names, which? 
are spelt in the older English way : — 

















Colaba (Bombay). 



Chaptkr I. — Page 1. 

India a coiitinent ratlier than a coniuiy. — The term '• Indian People " 
a misleading one. — India as a whole. — Component parts of the 
Bombay Presidency. — The climates. — The food of tlie people. — 
The scenery and appearance of the country.— The vernacular 

Chapter II.-— Page 1). 

Det^^ription of the People. 

Details of the population. — >The majority descended from tlie Aryan 
tribes who dwelt in Central Asia. — The aboriginal tribes. — The 
early Aryans. — The Weds (Vedas). — The four original castes. — The 
Institutes of Manu. — Castes in their later form. — Their religious 
nature. — Superstition. — Buddha and his creed. — Predominance of 
Buddhism as a state religion. — Its downfall. — Food, dress, and 
marriage customs of Hindus and Muhammadans. 

CiiAPTKR III.-^Page 2(J. 

]-Jarhj Hind''. Civil (^ntion. 

Invasions of Darius and Alexander. — -State of the country 
during the latter. — Megasthenes at Patna. — Village communities — 
Tenure of the land. — The village officers. 

CuAPTKii y. — Page 35. 

l-:sfahJls]iy,icnt of Mi'na.,rnLadon ll'de. 

Mission of Muhammad. — Maliammai^laii expedition into Sin- 1 i:, 
700. — Its failure. — Invasions from the Afghan mountains. — IMa'.i- 
inpudof Ghazni. — Muhammad Grliori. — Conquest of Northern India 
by the Muhammadans. — The Slave and Khiljy dynasties. — Exten- 
sion of Muhammadan conquest to the Deccan by A-lla-ud-diu in 
1295.— The Toghlak dynasty.— Rebellion of Zdffar Khan in the 
Deccan and foundation of the Bahmani Muhammadan dynasty 
of the Deccan. — Muhammadan kingdoms of Gujarat, Khandesh 
and Sind. — Invasion ofTaimur the Tartar. — End of the Toglilak 
<lynast3^ — Babar the descendant of Taimur invades India and 
founds the Moglial Empire in 1526. — Character of Muliammadai 
rule prior to the establishment of the IMoghal empire. 

ChaPTEK V. — PACrE 51. 

Coitqt'e.-<ts i>j' the l\>,-t>jij".ese. 

Vasco da Gama reaches Kalikat in 1198. — The state of Western Indio. 
at the time. — The Bahmani dynasty of tlie Deccan breaking up ir ti 
five independent kingdoms, chief of whicli are Ahmadnagar,Bijdpur 
and Golkonda. — Destruction of the Hindu kingdom of Bijanagar. — 
The Mar^thas employed largely in the armies of the Muhammadan 
states of the Deccan, and the Brahmans as men of o-^s. — 
Relations of Da Gama and his sticcessors with the Zaiuoi'n of 
Kalikat and the rulers of Kachin and Kannanur. — ^Factorie.-i 
founded and a large trade created. — Albuquerque makes Gc 
the capital of Portuguese India. — Character of the Portiigiiesi' 
rule. — Vicissitudes in their fortunes. — Their wars with Clujurd: 
and Bijapur. — Acquisitions of Bombay, Salsettc and Di:i. 

CuAPTKii \'I.—Pa(;e G7. 
]■''■!' I' 'hition of the Mo'fiml .Luipiru. 
Babar invades India. — His success at Panipat in 1526. — Ilis son 
Humayun succeeds him in 1530. — Hnmuvnn driven into cxilo for 
fifteen years by the Snr dynasty. — His return in triumph. — Suc- 
ceeded by Akbar in 1550. — -Continued success of the Portuguese 
at the time of his accession. — lucroasL' of xikbar's power. — lli> 
policy of conciliation. — He calls upon the ]\tuhainmadan kingdoms 
of the Deccan to ackjiowlcdgo his supremac}'. — Their reftisaL — 
Akbar's forces invade r'lo Deccan. — Chand Bii)i repels rhe iiiv;;- 
ders. — Akbar himself tuke=i tlie Held. — [[is dearli in li')05. -Hi- 
policy and character. 

CnAPTKll VII.-^l*A(.K 8.3. 

The Emperor Jaluiugir. — L'he East India Coin]);niy. — Captain 
Hawkins at Agra. — Sir Henry Middleton and the •'TituU-s" 
Increase." — Defeat of the Portuguese fleet by the English at Snrat 
in 1612. — Jahangir invades the Deccan accompanied by Sir Thomas 
Koe the English aniltus.-ador. — .^Ealik Ambar and Shuhji Rhonsli, 

('mai'ITi: VIII. --Pa<;k IJI. 
/:/.:• ■■/ rhe Mardtlx's. 
Shah Jahan sui>)»]'('s:;es 1 i!i> iohcilion of Khun Jahan Lodi iii " m 

— End of the kingilmn of A]im;idnagar in 1G33. — State 
madan power in tJie Deccan at the time. — -Progress of the Eiigii.-!j. 
— The rival Company. — Shiwaji son of Shuhji Bhonsle. — His })]an 
to drive the 31uhammadans from the country. — Encouragement oi 
his mother. — Shiwaji seizes the fort of Torna. — He builds a f(;rr 
at Eajgahr. — He obtains a series of forts on the Western (ilints.-— 
Ho seizes treasure of tlie Bijapur Government. — -Aui;, -^ ■■ 
viceroy of the Deccan. — }f(> goes to Delhi on the illness e 
father Shfih Jahaii and usurps the throne. — Shiwaji . 
the Moghal Clovernment, bnt Aurangzib grants him forgi'/e:: 
Aiu'angzib encourages him as the means of putting pressure on ;ii.> 
Muliammadan vassals. 


Chaptke IX.— Page 104. 
Expansion of ^[ardthch Povjer. 
Aurangzlb Emperor. — His great object. — His character and policy. — 
Afzul Khdn sent against Shiwdji from Bijtipur. — His death and 
the destruction of his army at Pratapgahr. —Failure of the 
Bij^pur avenging army. — Shiwaji makes his head«quarters at 
Eaygahr. — Strength of his army. — The English obtain Bombay. — 
Their liberal policy. — Shiwaji attacks Surat, but is firmly resisted 
by the English under Oxenden. — He seizes the Moghal pilgrim 
vessels. — Extraordinary successes. — Raja Jay Singh sent against 
him by Aurangzib. — His submission and journey to Delhi. — His 
disgust at his treatment there. — He is imprisonned but escapes. — 
He obtains tribute from Bijapur and Golkonda. — He works up his 
army and civil government. — He defeats an army sent against 
him by Anrangzib. — The English strengthen Bombay. — Grerald 
Anngier. — An attack of the Dutch repulsed. — Officers of the Com- 
]iany formed into four grades. — Splendid coronation of Shiwaji.— 
Treaty between him and the English. — His death. 

Chapter X.—Page 119. 
Decline of tlie Mocjhal Empire. 
Sambhaji succeeds Shiwaji. — He attacks Goa. — Reprisals of the 
Portuguese. — Aurangzib at the aged of G3 marches against Bijapur 
— Golkonda and the Marathas.— Rebellion of Captain Keigwin in 
Bombay. — Spirited foreign policy of the Childs.— Its failure. — 
The English seize the Moghal pilgrim vessels. — They sue for peace. 
— The Scotch East Indian Company. — Its union with the English 
one. — Calcutta founded in 1670.— Aurangzib destroys Bijtipur and 
Golkonda. — He captures and kills Sambhaji. — Rajarum, son of 
Shiwaji, rules on behalf of Sahu (Shiwaji), son of Sambhaji.— Rise 
of the Angria family.— Death of Ruj^ram.— His wife Tanibai be- 
comes regent on behalf of liis son Shiwaji. — Struggle ])etwecn the 
Emperor and tlie Marathas- — Death of Aurangzib. 


Chapter XL— Page 128. 

Rise of the Peshivas and the great Mardtha Houses. 
BaMdur Shah becomes Emperor. — He releases Sdhu, and then arise 
the two great Maratha factions of Sdhu of Satara and Sambhaji, son 
of Rajaram, at Kolhapur. — Ultimate success of Sahu. — ComiDara- 
tive tranquillity in the Deccan. — Death of Bahddur Shah. — The 
emperors Jahandar and Farokhsir. — Intrigues of the Syads. — Rise 
of Nizam -nl-Mulk founder of the Nizams of Hydarabad. — Balaji 
Wishwanath founder of the Brahman dynasty of the Peshwas. — 
The Peshwa, in alliance with Hussein Ali, viceroy of the Deccan, 
leads an army against Delhi. — The emperor killed. — Succeeded 
by Muhammad Shdh. — Maratha revenue system. — Kanhoji Angria's 
piracies on the English ships. — Niz^m-ul-Mulk asserts his inde- 
pendence, so there is nothing left to the Delhi empire of its 
possessions in the Deccan. — Bdji Rao, son of Balaji Wishwandth, 
becomes Peshwa. — Origin of Sindia, Holkar, the Gaikw^r of 
Barod^ and the Rajas of Bar^r. — Maratha campaigns against 
Delhi. — The Marathas capture Thana and Salsette from the 
Portuguese. — Decline of the Portuguese power. — English embassies 
to the Marathas. — Nddir Shah massacres 30,000 men at Delhi. — 
Steady increase of Mardtha power. — BdLiji Baji Rao succeeds 
as Peshwa. — His brother Raghonath Rao or Raghoba. — Deaths of 
Nizdm-ul-Mulkj Sdhu, and the emperor. — Sdhu's rendition of 
Maratha power to the Peshwa. 

Chapter XII. — Page 145. 

Struggle heticeen the English and the French. 

The idea of an European empire in India originated by Dupleix and 
worked out by Clivc- — Struggles for the thi'ones of the Deccan and 
Carnatic. — Increasing military reputation of the English. — The 
seat of the Mardtha power transferred to Puna. — Mardtha power at 
its zenith, — Struggle between the Mardthas and the Afghan — 



Ahmad Abdali in Hindustan.— Terrible defeat of the Marathas at 
Panipat. — The hope of Hindu supremacy over India at an end. — 
Commodore James sent against the Angrias. — His success at 
Sawarndrug. — Clive and Watson take Gheria, — Affairs in Bengal. — 
The battle of Plassey. — English conquest of Bengal. — Death of 
B^ldji Baji Rao. — Political condition of India. — Dislike of the 
Court of Directors to territorial acquisition. 

Chapter XIII.— Page 162. 
First MardtJia War. 
Mahdu Rao son of Bal^ji Rao becomes Peshwa, but Raghoba is 
regent. — Nana Farndwis is made minister. — Raghoba' s disputes 
with the Peshwa. — He seeks aid from the English and the Nizam. — 
The result. — Rise of Hydar Ali of Mysur. — The strange series of 
alliances between the English, the Marathas, the Nizam, and 
Hydar Ali. — The English dragged into the first Mysur war. — Its 
disastrous result. — Embassies to Puna. — Death of Mahdu Rao 
Peshwa. — His brother Ndrayan Rao succeeds, but is murdered. — 
Raghoba assumes the Peshwaship, but a posthumous son is born 
to Narayan Rao and two great parties are formed, that of 
Raghoba, and the ministerialists on behalf of the infant Peshwa. — 
The English take Surat and Broach. — The Governor of Bengal 
made Governor-General of India with authority over Bombay. — • 
The English conquer Thdna, and join in a campaign with Raghoba. 
— Treaty of Surat made with Raghoba who makes important 
cessions of territory. — Battle of Aras. — Naval battle with the 
Marathas. — The Calcutta Council order the Bombay aathorities 
to stop the war, and send Colonel Upton to make terms with the 
Marathas. — Unsatisfactory treaty of Purandhar, which annulled 
that of Surat and broke off the alliance with Raghoba. — Mr. Horn- 
by's minute that the English must interfere in Mardtha affairs — 
St. Lubin, theJPrench envoy, at Puna. — N4na Farndwis' negociations 
with him.— Hastings resolves to strike the first blow and sends an 


army across India under Colonel Leslie. — Colonel Egerton advances 
towards Puna from Panwel. — Miserable failure of the expedition. — 
Disgraceful convention of Wargaum. — Gallantry of Captain Hartley 
— Hasting sends Colonel Goddard to relieve Leslie. — Exploits of 
this officer. — He takes Ahmadabad. — Confederacy against the 
English. — Captain Popham's brilliant campaign inMalwa. — Hydar 
Ali commences the second Mysur war. — Hastings therefore 
endeavours to make peace with the Marathas as soon as it can be 
honourably secured. — Goddard takes Basseid. — His rash advance 
towards Puna and retreat to Panwel. — Peace concluded with the 
Marathas at Sdlbai. — Its favourable nature to the English. — 
Alliance of the Marathas and the English against Mysur. — New 
phase of the Maratha power which now consists of a lax 

Chapter XIV.— Page 187. 

Theory of the Balance of Fovcr» 

The second Mysur war. — Death of Hydar. — Succession of his son 
Tipu. — The French under Bussy aid Tipu, but are defeated. — When 
success is assured the Madras Council make a disgraceful surren- 
der. — Gallant action between the "Ranger" and the Maratha fleet. 
— Sindia's" schemes in Hindustcin. — Warren Hastings returns to 
England. — Sindia demands chauth from his successor, Mr. Mac- 
pherson. — He is forced to withdraw his demands. — Mr. Malet 
sent as envoy to Puna. — Arrival of Lord Cornwallis. — State of 
India at the time. — The third Mysur War. — Its successful result. — 
Annexation of Kanara.— Theory of the balance of power by 
which the English should hold the scales between the various 
powers of India. — Retirement of Lord Cornwallis. — Sindia at 
Puna. — He becomes a rival to Nana Farnawis. — His death. — 
His character and policy. — Daolat Rao Sindia. — The pirates on 
the Western Coast. — Janjira never conquered. — Sir John Shore, 
Governor- General. — His return to the non-intervention policy. — 


The Nizdm defeated by the Marathas at Khardla. — The young 
Peshwa in disgust at Kdna's severity kills himself — Intrigues 
for the Peshwaship, which is at last given to Baji Rao II., a son 
of Raghoba. — Sindia plunders Puna. — Anarchy and confusion 
in the Deccan. 

Chapter XY.— Page 205. 
Second Mardtha War* 
Lord Mornington, subsequently Marquis of Wellesley, Governor- 
General. — His favourable treaty with the Nizdm. — Xipu still bent 
on driving the English out of India, but he is defeated and 
killed in the fourth Mysur War. — Lord Wellesley sees that the 
English must be supreme in India. — Death of Nana Farnawis. — 
Increased disorder in the Deccan. — Dhondia Wdg's disturbances. — 
General Arthur Wellesley puts them down, — War between Sindia 
and Yeshwant Rao Holkar. — Murder of Wituji Holkar. — Yeshwant 
Rao takes Puna and Baji Rao flies to Bombay. — Treaty of 
Bassein, by which the English protect the Peshwa and station 
troops at Puna, and the Peshwa acknowledges British supremacy 
over Gujarat. — The Peshwa, Sindia and Barar conspire against the 
English. — General Wellesley' s forced march upon Puna. — The 
Peshwa reseated on his throne by the English. — Fruitless negocia- 
tions with Sindia and Barar. — Lord Wellesley compelled to 
assume the offensive. — His plans. — General Wellesley takes 
Ahmadnagar and wins the battle of Assaye. — Mountstuart 
Elphinstone. — Victories of Woodington in Gujarat and Lake in 
Hindustan. — General Wellesley's victory at Argaum. — Submis- 
sion of Sindia and Barar. — Elphinstone resident at Puna and 
Malcolm at the Court of India. — General Wellesley's triumphant 
entry into Bombay. — His opinions of the Peshwa's government. — 
Further treaty with the Gaikwar. — English possessions in the 
West of India after the war btill very small. 


Chapter XVI.— Page.— 227. 

British Supremacy. 

War with Yeshwant Eao Holkar. — Colonel Monson's disaster. — 
Colonel Ochteiiouy's successful resistance to Yeshwant Rao at 
Delhi. — Defeat of Yeshwant Rao's army. — Lord Lake unsuccess- 
fully besieges Bhartpur, but the R:ija submits. — The East India 
Company send out Lord Cornwallis to undo all that Lord Wellesley 
had done. — Nature of Oriental monarchies. — Lord Wellesley sees 
that the English power must be paramount. — Ignorance of the 
Directors concerning India. — Lord Cornwallis soon dies, but not 
before he has time to shatter his reputation as a statesman. — Sir 
George Barlow succeeds him and carries on his miserable policy. 
— The joy oi Yeshwant Rao, and plots of other chiefs. — Barlow 
becomes Governor of Madras. 

Chapter XVII —Page 234. 

Findhdri or Third Mardtha War. 
Lord Minto, Governor-General. — His firm dealing in Bandalkand. — 
The Pindharis and Amir Khdn. — Amir Khdn driven back to Hol- 
kar's territory. — Goa garrisoned by British troops. — The Pind- 
haris again. — Plots of Bdji Rao. — Treatment of the Bhils by the 
Marathas. — Elphinstone becomes resident at Puna. — His dealing 
with the Pesliwa's feudatory chiefs. — Piracy stamped out on the 
Western Coast. — The Indian Navy. — Biiji Rao's schemes. — Rise of 
Tnmbakji Dainglia. — His hatred of the English. — Baji Rao's plan 
to make himself paramount over all the Marathas and to shake 
off the British Yoke. — Lord Moira, or the Marquis of Hastings, 
Governor- General. — His conquest of Nepal. — Baji Rao's schemes 
■ with regard to Guzarat. — The Gaikwar sends Gangadhar Shastri as 
his envoy to Puna. — Murder of che Shastri by the agents of Trim- 
bakji. — Trimbakji is given up and imprisoned but escapes. — Expedi- 
tion to Kachh. — Heavy punishment of the Peshwa for his hostile 


actions. — Large cessions of territory to the English. — Lord East- 
ing's preparations to subdue the Pindharis and their supporters. — 
His successful dealings with Sindia. — Baji Rao's plan to murder El- 
phinstone. — Crisis at Puna. — The battle of Khirki and end of the 
Mardtha Empire.-— Battle of Korygaum. — Abolition of the Peshwa- 
ship. — Annexation of the Peshwa's territories. — Partial restoration 
of the Raja of Satara. — Mr. Elphinstone, Commissioner of the Dec- 
can. — ^Conclusion of the Campaign. — Battle of Ashta — Defence of 
Sitabaldi. — Battle of Mehidpur and destruction of Holkar's army. — 
Suppression of the Pindharis. — The Peshwa surrenders to Sir John 
Malcolm and is sent to Cawnpore. — Civi^ administration of the new 
acquisitions. — Elphinstone becomes Governor of Bombay. — Retire- 
ment of Lord Hastings. 

Chapter XYIII.— Page 269. 

Mountstuart Elphinstone. 

State of the country. — Elphinstone's wise and liberal views. — 
Mardtha justice. — Elphinstone's tours.-— The regeneration of Khan- 
desh. — Formation of the Bhil Corps. — Lord Amherst, Governor- 
General. — Bad feeling in the Bombay Presidency owing to the 
Burmese War. — Rimoshi insurrection. — Dealings with Sind and 
Persia. — Elphinstone's policy and views. — His retirement. 

Chapter XIX~Page 281. 
Policy of Self-Effacement. 
Sir John Malcolm, Governor of Bombay. — Lord William Bontinck, 
Govornor-Goneral. — His reputation over-estimated. — Financial re- 
tronchment. — Abolition of Sati. — Suppression of Thaggi. — Steam 
navigation. — Lord William Bentinck's reforms. — The miserable 
deficiency of his policy towards Native States — Disturbances 
at Hydardbad. — Gwdlior and Ja^i^pur unchecked. — NatiNC!^ "f Tndla 
unlit for European methods. 


Chapter XX.— Page 291. 

The Arnirs of Sind. 

Meeting between Lord William Bentinck and Ranjit Sing. — Lord 
Auckland, Governor-General. — The Raja of Satara exiled to Ba- 
ndras. — ShahSuja and Dost Muhammad. — A Russian Envoy at 
Kabul. — Eldred Pottinger at Herat. — Expedition to thePersianGulf. 
— Lord Auckland determines to restore Shah Suja and depose Dost 
Muhammad. — The army advances through Sind. — The history of 
the Amirs of Sind. — English attempts to get a footing In that 
province. — Tripartite treaty between the English, Ranjit Sing, and 
Shdh Suja. — Dishonourable treatment of the Amirs. — Sir James 
Outram, Political Agent in Sind. — Oonqest of Aden. 

Chapter XXI.— Page 304. 
Conquest of Sind. 
Destruction of the British Army in the Khyber Pass.— -Lord Ellen- 
borough, Governor- General. — The Amirs break through the treaty. 
— A new treaty consequently insisted upon. — Ali Mu^'ad of Kyrpur 
joins the English. — Sir Charles Napier supersedes Outram, but 
recalls the latter as Commissioner. — Napier's march against 
Imamgahr. — Battle of Midni. — Outram's futile negociations. — 
Battle of Hydarabad.— Annexation of Sind. — War wi.h Holkar's 
Forces and cattle of Mahdrajpur. — Annexation of Kolaba. — War 
■with Kolhdpur. 

Chapter XXIL— Page 322. 
The Laiv of Lapse. 
Lord Harding as Governor-General. — Succeeded by Lord Dalhousie. — 
Annexation of Sau;'ira. — Death of Baji Rio. — His adopted son 
Dhondu Pant, Nana Sahib. — Lord Dalhoasie's policy and the an- 
nexation of various states. 


Chapter XXIIL—Page 328. 

The Sowing of the Wind. 

Lord Canning, Governor-General. — The sepoys and their relations 
with the Government. — Professor Seely's incorrect theory.— The 
Duke of Wellington's opinion of British soldiers. — Complex causes 
of the Mutiny. — The Mutiny at Vellore. — Various other mutinies.— 
Sir Charles Napier's views. — Character of Lord Canning. — 
Grievances of the sepoys. — The prophecy. — The Delhi Princes. — 
The Shah of Persia. — Nana Sahib. — The Chapaties. 

Chapter XXIV.— Page 349. 

The Reaping of the Whirhvind, 

Outbreak of the Mutiny. — Willoughby at Delhi. — Tragedy at Jhansi. — 
Inconsistent aims of the mutineers. — Nana Sahib proclaims 
himself Peshwa.— The well of Cawnpore. — The two reliefs of 
Lucknowandthereconquest of Oudh. — The siege of Delhi. — Exile 
of the last Moghal Emperor Bahadur Shjih. — Campaign of Tantia 
Topi. — His snccess over General Windham and capture of Cawn- 
pore. — His defeat by Sir Colin Campbell. 

Chaptek XXV.—Page 359. 

The Mutinies in Bomlmj. 
Lord Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay. — His unselfish policy. — Plot 
at S^tara. — Disaffection in the Southern Maratha Country. — Out- 
break at Ko^hapuv. — Colonel Jacob at Kolh^pur. — Plot 
at Belgaum. — Conspiracies in Bombay. — Bombay saved 
by Forjett. — Plots at Ahmadubad, and in Sind. — Second 
outbreak at Kolhapur. — Brave deience of Talliwaua by the 
Police. — Eebellion of the Chief of Narguud. — Murder of Manson. 
— S-'^ Frank Souter. 


Chapter XXVL— Page 376. 

Exploits of the Bombay Army. 

Sir Hugh Rose's triiim})liai)t Campaign in Central India. — Defeats 
of the Rani of Jhansi and Tantia Topi. — End of the Mutiny- 
Peace Proclamation. — Abolition of the Company. — The Company's 
European Troops. — Discordant aims of the Mutineers. 

Chapter XXYII.— Page 392. 

Internal Administration. 

Steamers and Railways. — City of Bombay. — The Parsis. — The Depart- 
ments, and District Officers. — Land Tenure. — The Survey Settle- 
ment. — Forest Policy. — Local Funds. — European Officers. — 
Condition of the people. — Facts about British rule. 






INDIA is a name that has been given by Europeans to the 
vast Peninsula which lies between the Himalayas and 
the ocean. Neither to their country nor to themselves have 
the inhabitants of India ever given any one comprehensive 
name. Hence, if we wish to speak of them collectively, we are 
forced to call them natives of India, or sim])ly Natives. 
The term Indian cannot be applied to them, as its use 
is popularly restricted to denote the aboriginal tribes of 
America. Hindustiin means only the Gangetic plain and 
(Central India north of the Narbada, and is in no way synony- 
mous w^ith India. But there is in truth nothing to wonder at 
in the absence of a name for the land and the people that 
dwell in it. The only bond that forms India in any sense into 
a country or a nation is British rule. Apart from this it is 
a continent rather than a country. It comprises an area 


equal to all Europe without Russia and the Scandinavian^ 
Peninsula. It contains a population greater than that of alli 
the countries of Europe except Russia put together, a popu- 
lation composed of peoples that differ one from the other 
in race and in language, in religion and in custom, no less 
thau the Spaniard from the Russian, or the Greek from the 
Turk. Living as they do in countries separated from each- 
other by broad rivers, lofty mountains and dense forests, 
there is indeed but little reason why the isolated units that 
form the population of India should have ever been welded 
into one symmetrical whole. So to speak of the inhabitants- 
of India as the Indian People is no more accurate than 
it Avould be to speak of Englishmen, Germans, and Italians 
as the European people ; and the term would be absolutely 
devoid of significance to the great majority of those whom, 
it is intended to include. 

From the Himalayas in the north to Cape Comorin in the 
south, the length of the Peninsula is nineteen hundred miles : 
while from the mouth of the Indus in the west to the mouth, 
of the Irawadi in the east, its breadth is fifteen hundred. Hin- 
dustan proper may be said to consist of the huge river basin 
of the Ganges. Springing from the snow-clad Himalayas, two 
hundred miles north of Delhi, this mighty river receives into 
its yellow waters at Allahabad the dark stream of the Jumna; 
and flows through lands of wonderful richness to the Bay 
of Bengal. To the north-west of Hindustan is the Panjab 
or hind of the live rivers (panch-ab), tlie Indus and its tribu- 
taries, the Jhelam, the Chenab, the Rawi and the Satlej. 
This land, which tempted the Aryan invaders to leave their 
rugged homes in Central Asia and make their dwelling-place 
in India, forms with Bind the river-basin of the Indus, whose 
waters rise in the mountains that enclose the beautiful region. 


of Kashmir. South of Hinclustua India is termed by Hindu 
geographers the Deccau (Dakshin and Dakhin), which means 
south ; but the name is more usually limited to that part of 
Western India which lies above the Ghats, and which forms 
the chief part of the Presidency of Bombay. That Presi- 
dency corresponds in area and population with the Peninsula 
of Spain and Portugal, and to a certain extent resembles it 
in position. Excluding the large native state of Baroda it 
contains an area of close on 1^>2,U00 square miles, nearly one- 
third of which consists of feudatory states, and a population 
of twenty-three millions and a (juarter, of whom nearly seven 
iinllions are in those states. 

The northernmost portion of the Presidency is composed 
of Sind, a hot and arid country, watered by the Indus as it 
Hows from the Panjab to the Arabian Sea. South of Sind 
is the state of Kachh (Cutch), and next in position the group 
of states in the peninsula oL' Kuthiawar. Tiie remaining and 
most important portion of the Presidency is divided into two 
<listinct natural divisions by the range of \yesterD Ghats. 
Between these mountains and the sea there runs a strip of 
land twenty-five to fifty miles wide, which has various charac- 
teristics, and is known by several names. East of Kathia- 
war and south as far as the Portuguese city of Daman it forms 
the rich undulating plain of (Inzarat. From Daman south- 
wards to Goa it is known as the Konkan or rugged country. 
South of Goa is the district of Ivanara which was formerly 
included in the Madras Presidency. With its splendid har- 
bour at K'irwar, its magnificent mountains and deadly jungles, 
Kanara possesses a marked individuality. Southward from 
Kciiiara the coast land belongs to Madras, and bears the 
name of Malabar. East of the Ghats is the table-land or 
plateau of the Deccau, a region of wild and varying scenery 


in some places fertile, in others barren, at a general elevation 
of two thousand feet above the sea. The most northern part of 
the Deccan is called Khandesh, the greater part of which 
consists of the low-lying valley of the Tapti ; but Khandesh, 
though strictly speaking in the Deccan, is generally regarded as 
separate from it. 

The Sahyadris, or Western Ghats, may be described as 
buttresses, which, rising from the coast lands of Guzarat, the 
Konkan and Kanara, support the elevated table-land of 
the Deccan. Springing from the slopes of the Narbada and 
Tiipti valleys they trend southwards almost without a break 
to the highlands of -Nlysur, at a height generally of some 
4,000 feet above the sea. But they attain nearly 5,000 feet 
among the peaks of Mahableshwjir where, within sight of 
the Arabian Sea, rises the mighty Krishna which flows across 
the continent into the Bay of Bengal. The pleasant and 
healthy climate of Mahableshwar could hardly be neglected 
by Europeans ; and in the hot summer months it forms a 
delightful playground and health-resort for those who can 
get away from the scorching winds of the Deccan or the 
steamy atmosphere of the coast. 

The great diversity in natural features brings with it a 
corresponding variety in the climates of Western India. In 
the open plains that form the valley of the Indus there are 
intense extremes of heat and cold, the winter being severe 
even for those who have come from a northern clime, while 
the heat in the hot season nearly approaches the limit at 
which life becomes intolerable to the European. Nor is there 
a rainy season, such as is vouchsafed to most of India, to 
cool the heated atmosphere. The rainfall is limited to a 
very few inches a year, and cultivation depends upon irriga- 
tion by canals fed from the great river, and tanks in 


which every drop of the scanty rainfall is carefully col- 
lected. Passing to the south, the land between the Gh^ts 
and the sea has a climate of which winter forms no part. 
The air is moist and steamy ; and though from December to 
February the nights are in places cold, the sun is always hot, 
while above the Ghats at the same season the air is compa- 
ratively cold and bracing. As the spring months come oil 
the heat rapidly increases ; in the Deccau hot scorching 
winds blow all day and often all night, filling the air with a 
kind of mirage which makes every outline heavy and indistinct. 
In the coast districts the hot wind is modified by moisture from 
the ocean ; but the enervating languor of the damp climate 
is a hardly preferable equivalent to the dry heat. By the 
end of May the heat reaches its intensity ; vegetation is 
parched up and the country looks like a desert. But early 
in June there comes a welcome cliange ; piles of clouds rise 
in the sky, and with little warning the phenomenon known 
as the bursting of the monsoon takes place, abundant rain from 
the south-west bringing fresh life to the thirsty soil. Vegeta- 
tion springs up everywhere with wonderful rapidity ; and 
pleasant showery weather with cliecrful sunshine lasts on 
until the latter part of September. In the Deccan this is far 
the pleasantest time of the year, and is not unlike a fine Eng- 
lish summer. On the coast, though the atmosphere is fjiirly 
cool, the rain is too heavy for enjoyment ; but even there, as 
elsewhere, it is felt as a great relief after the heat. Throughout 
the seven dry months European civil officers are engaged in 
travelling all over their districts, pitching their tents close to the 
villages, living amongst the people, and meeting one another 
only from time to time. But in the rains they come into the 
liead-quarter station of the district, and have comparative 
leisure for social enjoyment and relaxation. When the rains 


cease it is usually hot again for a month or six weeks before 
the cold weather can be said to commence. The climate of 
the Deccan is on the whole the healthiest in India. 

In the Konkan and other coast districts rice is the princi- 
pal food of the people, there being abundance of w^ater for its 
cultivation. But above the Ghats rice is rather looked upon 
as a luxury, many kinds of millet and pulse, with some barley 
and wheat, forming a more substantial food for the hardier 
population of the Deccan. Some of these cereals are grown 
in the monsoon and are known as the rabi or early crop, 
while wheat and barley, forming the kharif or late crop, are 
sown in the rich black soil after the rainy season is over. 
Cotton and oil seeds are sown at this later period, while rice 
ripens at the close of the monsoon. Exaggerated as the 
hardships of the Deccan peasantry have been, their land 
undoubtedly cannot compete in the richness of its soil and 
products with the more fertile parts of India. 

On the whole, there is much beauty in the Bombay Presi- 
dency. Upper Sind affords magnificent views of the mountains 
of Beluchistan. Lying between the sea and the Sahyadri 
mountains, from which innumerable spurs run down 
and cross it in all directions, the Konkan unites won- 
derful grandeur with beaut}^ of a softer kind. Monoto- 
nous as much of the Deccan must be confessed to be, few 
portions of it can be called uninteresting. Sometimes 
the traveller may go for miles and miles through an undu- 
lating country with poor features and little vegetation ; but 
elsewhere bold ranges of hills, steep ravines and rich 
forests form a beautiful and attractive landscape. But the 
scenery of the Ghats themselves, with their rugged peaks of 
basalt often scarped down to make the well-nigh impregnable 
strongholds of Maratha free-booters, their rocks and forests. 

PESCRIF'TIOX <fi Tifi: nn\rnAV f^UEslDKXCY. 7 

and after the rains their streams and waterfalls, leaves nothing 
to be desired by the lover of nature, except a climate that will 
allow him to enjo}^ the beauty that meets his eye. 

Generally speaking, the rivers of the Deccan are raging tor- 
rents for a few months cf the year, and not much more than 
Klry beds for the rest. But near the coast the rivers are for 
the most part tidal streams, and are much used for naviga- 
tion ; while they afford fertility to the picturesque country 
through which they take their course. Next to the Indus, 
the most important rivers that fall into the Western Ocean 
are the Narbada and Tfipti, that flow half across India from 
the Central Provinces and empty themselves into the sea at 
Broach and Surat in Guzarat. Of those that take the con- 
trary course from the Ghats to the Bay of Bengal the chief 
are the Godawari and the Krishna, with its tributary the 
Bhima. Towns and villages arc met with every few miles, 
those in the Deccan having strong walls that were once 
needed for thair protection. The people have ever sought the 
security that a community affords, and the traditional custom 
lias survived after its necessity has disappeared. Farmhouses 
and cottages scattered about like those in England are never 
to be seen in India. 

Four languages besides Hindustani are spoken in the Presi- 
dency. In Sind the language is Sindi, in which the Persian 
and Hindustani elements predominate ; in Guzarat Guzarati, 
the language spoken by the Parsis, in which a Persian colour- 
ing is laid upon a Sanskrit foundation ; in the Konkan and 
the Deccan, except in the extreme south and east, Marathi, 
which, of all Indian languages, bears the closest resemblance 
to the Sanskrit from which it has sprung, the characters in 
which it is written being almost unaltered. The country in 
which Marathi is spoken is commonly known as Maharashtra, 


a name which covers a large area In the Central Provinces, 
Central India, Barar and Hydarabad, besides the Marathi- 
speaking districts of Bombay. All these tongues are Aryan, 
and have a certain family likeness ; but in the south and east 
of the Presidency is spoken Kanarese, a language which has- 
nothing in common with any x\ryan tongue. It belongs to- 
the group, largely used in Southern India, which is known- 
as Dravidian, and includes Tamil and Telagu. Hindustani is 
nowhere in Bombay the vernacular language of the people, 
but it is spoken generally by Muhammadans, and is a kind of 
lingua franca which the traveller may find understood ta^ 
some extent wherever he goes. And by a kitid of tradition 
(dating from the era of Mussalman conquest) that it is 
necessarily the language of the ruling race, Marathas con- 
stantly reply to a European in a patois whidi they believe- 
to be Hindustani to a question which may be asked in the 
purest Marathi. Hindustani is a language of comparatively 
modern growth that sprang up in the armies of the early 
Moghal invaders, and is properly known as Urdu, or the 
language of the camp. Sanskrit is spoken freely in the 
households of educated Brahmans, and Persian has a like use 
among Muhammadans ; while now all natives with any pre- 
tence to education have a fair knowledge of English. In 
Bombay itself the languages spoken may be counted by the- 

( '^ ) 


THE British Empire in India contains a population of morf- 
than 253 millions, exclusive of the new acquisition ol 
Upper Burma (I)urmab). Of the twenty-three millions and a 
quarter that inhabit the Bombay Presidency, 35,000 are in 
Perim and Aden, and nearly seven millions in the Xative 
States of the Presidency. The population of the British 
districts includes l2,;au,000 Hindus, 3,020,000 Mnham- 
madans, 216,000 Jains, 138,000 Christians, 127,000 Sikhs,. 
72,000 Parsis, half a million forest or aboriginal tribes, and 
8,400 of other religions, chiefly Jews. Pour-iifths of the 
population of India are directly nnder British rule, and the re- 
maining one-fifth is comprised in the protected Native 
States. The administration of these states is closely 
supervised by British political officers, and tends more 
and more nearly to resemble that of British India. Of 
this immense mass of people the great majority, including 
all the Hindus and most of the Muhammadans, are descended 
from those Aryan tribes who, before the dawn of history,, 
dwelt in the highlands of Central Asia with the forefathers- 
of Latins, Teutons, and Scandinavians. Schoolboys are 
now tanght not that Latin words are derived from Greek or 
Greek from Sanskrit, but that all alike have sprung from that 
common parent language which was spoken by the ancestors 


both of Hindus and Englishmen in their original home, 
before successive waves broke off from the population to 
found colonies in India, Greece, and Italy. It has been shown 
by the science of philology how far the language had grow^n 
'up before there was any separation of the family at all, and 
at what stage of their wanderings each different wave of 
^colonists split up into groups which settled down and grew up 
into nations. Those who turned southwards to India had 
the least distance to go from their common home. Their 
language has undergone the least modification, and the speech 
of the Mardtha peasant comes nearest to the original tongue of 
his and our Aryan forefathers. 

Some twelve millions of the total population of India 
consist of people commonly known as aboriginal tribes. 
Their forefathers were already in India before the Aryan in- 
vasion, and of any earlier inhabitants of the country we have 
no knowledge at all. These are wild and savage tribes, 
barely reclaimed from barbarism. They are scattered widely 
over the country, but all have some resemblance to each 
other in physical features, language, and habits. Though all 
•of them are of a very low type of humanity, some from 
contact with Hinduism have advanced to a small degree of 
civilisation, possess habitations, and cultivate land. Others, 
•of whom in a long series of generations the Hindus could make 
absolutely nothing, the British Government has enrolled as 
soldiers and police ; and with judicious gifts of seed and cattle 
has induced them to settle down on land that has also been a 
gift. Others again are still virtually in their original state 
•of savagedom, and live in the depths of forests whose 
.noxious vapours bring death to other races. They wander 
fronf) place to place, supporting themselves as best they can 
by the chase, or by the wild roots and berries of the jungle. 


Though some of these tribes worship Hindu gods they 
cannot be classed as Hindus. In the Deccan these races are 
represented by Mhars and Mangs, (yhamars, Wadars, and 
Ramoshis, and the Kohs of the Ghats ; and by a tribe of 
rude musicians named Garsi, whom popular legend names as 
the descendants of the earliest inhabitants of all. They have, 
for the most part, regular occupations, and are superior to the 
forest tribes of whom the most wild and warlike are the Bhils 
of Khcindesh ; while below the Ghc'its in the Katkaris of the 
Konkan and the Talawias of Gnz:lrat are found strictly forest 
tribes, who can by no means whatever be brought within the 
pale of civilisation. Such were the people inhabiting the 
country before the Aryan invasion. From beginning to end 
they have excited from the Hindus no other feeling than loathing 
and contempt. Their touch is held to defile, and the Hindus 
have always insisted on those, such as Mhurs and Chamars, 
who settle down in one place, occupying a separate quarter 
r.part from the rest of the town or village, like the Jews in 
3i)urope in the Middle Ages. 

The contrast between the early invaders and the aborigi- 
nal population was, indeed, no less marked than that which 
•existed thousands of years later between the European con- 
•(juerors of India and the population which they found in the 
country ; while in their treatment of the conquered the com- 
parison is altogether in favour of the later conquerors. There 
tire, it is true, no records or traditions of the personal or in- 
dividual history of the Aryan people before they found their 
way into India from the North-west ; but of the Aryans col- 
lectively we have no inconsiderable knowledge. Insisting 
upon a strict observance of the marriage law, they lived in 
families which formed the unit of society, and in which the 
patria potestas of the Romans was a vigorous institution ; 


while, as with inocleni natives of India, the various degrees oF 
rehationship were marked out with wonderful ehahoration. 
Far from leading a nomadic life they dwelt together in towns 
and villages ; and with the increase of population the families 
grew into clans and tribes which formed at least the basis of 
the present system of caste. The whole weresuhjects to a king 
who had priests and soldiers as his councillors, But their 
kings were no absolute and irresponsible monarchs, for there 
were codes of laws carefully drawn up. Tbe people were not 
dependent on the chase for food. They had reached that stage 
in civilisation in which men plough the fields and sow the 
seeds that they may reap the crop, and spin wool and flax to- 
make themselves clothes. Deeply impressed with the mys- 
tery of creation they worshipped in many forms the Maker 
of the Universe, and reverenced the priests that directed the 

How many years have passed since these people left their 
old homes to sweep down through the narrow and dangerous 
mountain passes upon the land of the five rivers it is im- 
possible to say. It is probable that the work of conquest 
took a long time and was advanced by many expeditions, while 
the first arrivals w^ould come as settlers rather than as con- 
querors. At the time of the conquest it is uncertain how 
far the division into caste had been developed ; hut it is clear 
that from the earliest times the Aryans liad in their deep 
veneration for the sanctity of the family a strong predisposi- 
tion to a system of that nature. Their contact with the 
original tribes of India could not hut have the effect of 
enormously strengthening and developing such a system, both 
for purposes of defence and offence ; and more especially to 
prevent the contamination that would come to their race by 
union with those beyond their caste. Their close orgauisa- 


tion may have enabled them to crush with comparative ease 
all resistance on the part of the inliabitants ; and by a more 
or less gradual process, of which no details w-hatevcr have 
•come down to us, they extended tbeir conquest throughout 
the country, driving back the aboriginal people to the depths 
of the jungles and their fastnesses on hills and mountains. 

For the first information that exists about the Hindus in 
India we must look to the religious poems of the Weds (Vedas) 
'Composed from time to time, and compiled into four books at 
perhaps 2000 B.C. These are not, and w^ere probably never 
intended to be, historic records ; but while all their descrip- 
tions of kings and queens and their magnificent palaces are 
purely imaginary and fanciful, the Weds yet give a general 
idea of the state to which the people had advanced. W^hen 
the compilation was made, the Aryans had formed themselves 
into various kingdoms, and were divided into the two chief 
sections of the solar and lunar races, the great war between 
which forms the epic of the ^rdh:ibh:irat. Of the various 
dynasties the more important were at Oudh and iNIcgadha in 
Bengal. The union of castes, which had sufiiced to crusli 
the resistance of the aboriginal tribes, had with the necessity 
'Caused by that resistance ceased to hold together its com- 
ponent units. It is evident that one of the most marked 
features of the Hindu character was then, as it has ever been, 
the inability to form any political combination otherwise than 
for mere temporary purposes. From the hymns of tlie Rig- 
Wed it appears that the original four castes, which form the 
foundation of the present complicated structure, whenever 
they may have first begun, were then existing in a clearly 
•defined form. All alike were born from Brahma the Creator, 
the highest caste or i^rahmans springing from his mouth, the 
Kshatrya (here called Raj any a) from his arms, the Waishya 


from his thigh, the Sudra from his feet. But the Rig-Wed 
gives no hint of the immeasurahle supremacy of the Brahman 
and the corresponding degradation of the Sudra, which sprang 
up later on, and in spite of a long period of organised resis- 
tance has continued until now. Notwithstanding the claims of 
Rajputs and some few others to helong to the Kshatrja caste, 
and of some merchants who represent themselves as Waishyas, 
hoth these castes have practically ceased to be. The stringent 
ordinances of the Brahmans have enabled them to preserve 
their lineage in its purity, while the Sudras have split up into 
a multitude of castes, some of which are practically guilds or 
crafts, all alike maintaining a strict religious exclusiveness. 
To Europeans the system may appear an intolerable oppres- 
sion ; but it does not seem to be felt so even by the lowest 
castes of real Hindus, who, while looking up to the Brahman, 
as the representative of God on earth, feel elevated rather 
by the sanctity of their own caste, than humiliated by the 
existence of other castes higher in the religious scale. 
Natives of India, it has been stated, have no nationality and 
no name for themselves as a people: the fact is that the 
functions of nationality have been usurped by caste. A child, 
is brought up with the idea strongly developed in every 
possible way that he is a member of his particular caste, the 
idea of any higher unit in the scale of humanity never 
entering his head. A parallel would exist if in England 
a boy were to grow up by caste a mason or a carpenter, 
feeling that all his world was limited to his fellow caste-people, 
and having no notion of his nationality as an Englishman. 
To the Hindu all beyond the limits of his caste are beyond 
the reach of his sympathy. He may, of course, have dealings 
with them in the way of buying and selling and the ordinary 
business of life ; but to eat with an outsider involves defile- 

T)i:srKirTiox or iiu: piioi'jj:. 15 

ment from which he can only be cleansed by heavy fines and 
harsh penance. Marriage with such an one, even if possible, 
involves expulsion from the caste, together with all that for 
the Hindu makes life worth living. Excommunication to the 
Eoman Catholic is a bitter thing ; bitterer far to the Hindu, 
for whom every incident of his daily life is a religious ordi- 
nance. Accustomed as he is from his youth up to these ex- 
aggerated notions of the ])aramount importance of caste, it is 
little wonder that in a land of such vast size caste has left 
no room for any developement of nationality. The bonds of 
caste, instead of binding together the Hindus into a nation, 
have made such a union impossible, and rendered them an, 
eas}^ prey to every invader. 

At an interval which has been calculated at six hundred, 
years after the compilation of the Weds, there was written a 
very curious book called the institutes of Manu. It con- 
tained an elaborate system of social and religious polity with 
laws for men of each profession or occupation, from the prince 
to the peasant. There had been a considerable advance in 
civilisation since the time of the Weds, and the picture ot 
Hindu society, as it existed three thousand years ago, scarcely 
differs from that which Englishmen found in India when the 
house of Stuart reigned in England. It is hard to say whether 
it is a more wonderful thing that while Europe was steeped in 
barbarism the Hindu had already arrived at such an advanced 
stage of civilisation, or that men, who had already done so 
much, should seemingly have lost the power of doing more. 
The laws of ^fanu show that the Hindus had acquired a 
thorough knowledge of the science of trading. Banking 
in nearly all its modern branches, book-keeping by double 
and single entry, simple and compound interest, bills of ex- 
change and insurances, were intimatelv known, though neither 


then nor uoav had they arrived nt tliat immense con- 
venience of modern banking, the use of a cheque-book. The 
bonds of caste had been drawn much closer by the time when 
I\lanu drew up his codes. The Brahmans formed the higher 
orders of hereditary priesthood, though then as now it was 
possible for men of other castes to give up the cares of this 
world and enter inferior orders, or become ascetics and devotees. 
The Brahmans expounded the sacred books and performed 
:all the chief religious offices, naming the people, marrying 
^them, and performing their funeral rites; and throughout 
their life they acted as their spiritual guides. iVstrology was 
^part of their functions, and no orthodox Hindu could set out 
on a journey, or undertake any inportant business Avithout 
consulting a Brahman as to a favourable conjunction of the 
planets. Under the laws of Manu there were the most 
odious distinctions between Brahmans and Sudras. If a 
8udra sat on the same seat as a Brahman he was exiled 
'or was branded upon his body; if ho insulted one of them 
his tongue was slit ; if he molested one he was put to death ; 
if he learnt the sacred books he suffered the same fate, but if 
lie was murdered by a Brahman the penalty was the same 
as that for killing a dog, a cat, or a crow. A labourer was by 
law forbidden to accumulate wealtli, nor could even his 
master give him freedom, "for of a state w^hich is natural to 
him, by whom can he be divested ? " 

The Kshatryas were the soldiers ; but their caste has ceased 
to exist, and soldiers are enlisted from any caste, including 
Brahmans, whether in the British service or in the armies of 
native princes. But the hereditary principle in military 
employment survived the extinction of the caste, and among 
the Marathas and others the Commander-in-Chief of the 
•army was succeeded by his son as much by a matter of course 


as the political privileges of an English peer descend to his 
heir. To the Waishya caste helonged the professional and 
higher degrees of trade, and lawyers, bankers, clerks, agents, 
and such like were members of the order. But while the 
humbler castes or guilds have remained intact, there has 
been much change in the higher ones ; and as any one can be- 
come a soldier, so there is nothing to prevent his becoming a 
physician, lawyer, or scribe. 

The fourth, or Sudra caste, embraced the lower classes of 
traders, farmers, cultivators, and artisans. But though the 
word Sudra is used now as a collective term for these classes, 
it can hardly be said to be a caste, and no native would reply 
when asked about his caste that he was a Sudra. Gold- 
smiths, blacksmiths, carpenters, weavers, and multitudes of 
others, who are undoubted Sudras, form absolutely indepen- 
"dent and exclusive castes ; as do others also, the Wanis, for 
instance, or Banyas (grain merchants and money-lenders) who 
like to represent themselves as members of the Waishya caste 
but are nothing more than Sudras. All these and many 
others are good Hindus. After them come outcastes, who 
however by no means consent to an equality between them- 
selves, but strictly preserve their own individual distinctions. 
Chief among these are tanners, leather-dressers, and shoe- 
makers, any persons working in leather being particularly 
repulsive to the Hindu. Englishmen commonly speak of 
outcastes as Pariahs, but the vrord is not used by natives in 
that sense. ** Paharias " are wild hill people, from " Pahar," 
a hill, and it is only by Europeans that the use of the word 
has been extended to others. The native word for caste is 
•* Jat" which the Portuguese from its similarity to the Latin 
castus converted into caste. 

The affairs of each caste are administered by its elders in 


conjunction on solemn occasions with Brahmans, the special 
object behig to prevent immoraUty and to resist any breach 
or neglect of caste rules. Punishments usually take the form 
of fine and penance. Any harshness or cruelty is of course 
punishable by British law; but appeals are seldom made 
against caste decisions, and on the whole the system works 
well. If a Hindu is outcasted no lower caste will receive 
him ; thus the overwhelming importance of preserving in- 
tact the necessary conditions of his life can hardly be appre- 
ciated by those who have had no personal experience of 
what this tremendous system involves. This control by caste 
for the purposes of checking immorality and social offences 
has extended not only to Mnhammadans, but also in the 
south of India to Native Christians. 

Though caste and religion are not one and the same, yet 
the one more or less includes the other, and they are indis- 
solubly bound up together. The Hindu's every act of daily 
life is a religious observance, depending upon what has been 
written in his sacred books. His ablutions and sanitary 
observances are made not so much with any idea of their 
intrinsic value as because they have been ordained in the 
ancient writings of his religion. Rich Hindus support family 
priests ; but all, down to almost the poorest, possess family 
gods, by worshipping whom they constantly purify them- 
selves for taking their meals or going forth to their labour. 
Ostensibly resting their faith on the trinity of Brahma, 
Wishnu, and Shiwa — the creating, preserving and destroying 
deities — the Hindus have set up a whole pantheon of subor- 
dinate or local gods, each man or family putting an 
unreserved and childlike trust in some particular tutelary 
deity. Faith so implicit and credulity so absolute could 
hardly fail to degenerate into superstition ; and the Hindu, 


not excepting the educated Brahman, is not free from the 
terrors of evil demons and spirits, who bring sickness and mis- 
fortune, of magic and the evil eye. Nothing in the way of 
supernatural agency is too gross to be believed. These ideas 
are deeply seated in all natives of India, including the 
Muhammadans ; and some of the Himalayan wild tribes offer 
their worship solely to the spirits of evil, in order to avert 
their wrath. If there be a good god, they say, he will do 
them no harm, and needs no propitiation. 

The natural effect of this credulity has been to raise to 
an immense height the popular idea of the importance of 
the Brahmanical priesthood. India is above all things a 
priest-ridden country, and the " twice-born" Brahmans are 
looked up to with boundless veneration by the vast mass of 
Hindus, nay even by Muhammadans, as the means by which 
the divine wrath may be averted and salvation attained. 
Brahmans were not likely to discourage notions which exalted 
them to a pitch unattainable by any others ; and by 
binding tighter and tighter the bonds of the caste system 
they eifectually secured the acceptance of the most preposterous 
claims to sanctity. But even the population of India, after a 
time, found the weight of the priestly yoke intolerable. The 
original purity of the Hindu faith became sullied in the 
hands of a self-seeking and oppressive priesthood ; the spirit 
of the religion was neglected, its letter rigidly enforced. The 
sanctity claimed by the Brahmans as inherent to themselves 
whatever they might do could hardly be maintained, even in 
such an atmosphere of credulity, in the face of their flagrant 
licentiousness and immorality. The reaction came. Born 
the heir to a magnificent kingdom, there grew up in the 
sixth century before the Christian era a man who was to intro- 
duce into the world a religion destined to number amongst 


its adherents more than any other faith ])efore or since. 
Prince Gautama ^vas brought up in the height of luxury ; he 
received the best education that was then possible ; and he 
excelled in every manly sport. But the mystery of life under 
which the few had lives of ease and pleasure, while the masses 
had no prospect but that of ceaseless toil throughout their 
days, deeply affected him. He loathed the frivolity and vice 
which he saw on all sides, and he became convinced, that in 
the hollow precepts and vain ceremonies of the Brahmans 
there was no help for mankind. Overwhelmed with immea- 
surable pity and sorrow for the toiling millions, he determined 
to devote his life to the task of finding out some means by 
w^iich he might heal their misery and disease. At the age of 
twenty-eight the prince left his father's palace and dwelt 
alone in the wilderness, attaining sanctity as Sakya Muni, or 
the monk, and pondering how he might alleviate the mass of 
human misery. Gradually he worked out his faith, and 
emerging from the desert as Buddha, or the vrise, he preached 
the gospel of divine grace for all alike. The Brahmans them- 
selves could not answer his arguments when he told them 
that no man, whether priest or layman, might come between 
his fellow-man and his Maker ; he crushed their pretensions 
to infallibility and made war on their oppression and exclusive- 
ness. His doctrine, he said, v/as like the sky, and had room 
for all alike, men and women, boys and girls, rich and poor. 
He told them that as the rivers that fall into the Ganges lose 
their own names and become one, so all that believed in him 
ceased to be Brahmans, Kshatryas, AVaishyas, and Sudras. As 
he himself had renounced the riches and the ])leasurcs of this 
world, so every one, he said, must subdue his passions and re- 
nounce everything, even his own self. Each man could make 
his own deliverance, and by subduing all evil desires, and prac- 


tising charity, overcome earthly sin and sorrow, and at last after 
death obtain everlasting rest by Nirwana or absorption into 
the divine essence. As each drop in the ocean forms part of 
it, so each man at last would form part of the Creator himself. 
There w^as endless hope for all. No one could do more than 
defer Nirwana for himself, though it might be ages and ages 
before he eventually attained it. Full of love and sympathy 
for all, he called down no imprecations and threatened no 
future punishment for those who disbelieved in him ; sin, he 
said, was its own punishment, virtue its own reward. He 
laid infinite stress on each man's capability for good or evil ; 
prayer was of no more avail than priestly mediation, each 
man was to work out his own salvation by his life and deeds. 
The attractions of Nirwana might seem scanty as compared 
with the promises made to their disciples by founders of other 
religions. Nirwana was neither life nor death ; it was to be one 
with life yet not to live, to be blest by ceasing to be. Buddhism 
was, in fact, a melancholy negative based upon an exaggerated 
view of the miseries of mankind, and an inability to look upon 
the brighter side of human affairs. It had no conception of the 
quiet happiness that may be attained in a Christian house- 
hold ; it saw nothing but gross pleasures on the one side and 
helpless misery on the other. It assumed that the world was 
wholly evil, and aimed at a total emancipation from its 
bondage. For three centuries this theory made its way with 
wonderful success ; the ascendancy of the Brahman priest- 
hood seemed overthrown for ever ; and though it did not in- 
terfere with the restrictiouvS of caste, so long as they were 
harmless and inoffensive, yet Buddhism undoubtedly made the 
people freer and less exclusive. For three centuries it grew 
in India and spread to China and Ceylon, and at length Asoka, 
the powerful king of Megadha, who had made enormous sacri- 


ficesto the Brahmanical gods, made it the state religion, and 
Brahmanism seemed at an end. But its union with the state 
was no source of strength to the Buddhist Church. Instead of 
resting upon an independent foundation, it allowed itself to be 
supported by the civil power ; and when the kingdom of 
Megadha, under successive dynasties, crumbled away and 
could no longer maintain the state church, the end of Bud- 
dhism as a predominant religion was assured. In the fourth 
century of our era Brahmanism was again raising its head, 
and two centuries later it reattained its supremacy, which it 
has never again lost. The gentle and loving though sombre 
creed of Buddha passed away, and the grotesque pantheon — 
with gods, demi-gods, miracles, heavens and hells, splendid 
festivals, and liturgies — which the Brahmans had pinned on to 
the simple faith of the Weds became again the religion of the 
land. Some princes indeed were strong enough to preserve 
Buddhism for several centuries, and a sect called the Jains, 
who are numerous in Western India, are in some respects suc- 
cessors of the Buddhists to this day. Many of the Buddhist 
tenets are incorporated into the teachings of this sect, which 
denies the exclusive supremacy of the Brahmans, but which, 
though formed as a protest against exclusiveness, is itself as 
exclusive as any. Another offshoot from orthodox Hinduism 
are the Lingayats, who arose in the Deccan in the 11th cen- 
tury A.D. They also reject the ministration of the Brah- 
mans and worship the phallic emblem (the linga) and the 
bull. In the case of these revolts against caste and exclusive- 
ness, as in those made by the Sikhs of the Panjab in the 
seventeenth century and similar religious movements in 
other parts of the world, the new sect has but imposed 
upon itself the very same fetters as those against which it 


It has been stated that with the Hindu everything that he 
does is connected with his rehgion. This, of course, includes 
what he eats and drinks, and the manner in which he 
takes his meals. Brahmans eat no meat, but live on grain, 
vegetables, milk, and sweetrneats, their food being always 
cooked and their water brought by some one of their 
own caste. While taking their food they may only wear 
a dhotar or piece of cloth folded round the loins, a 
rule which they find extremely inconvenient when business 
takes them to the hills in the cold weather. Manithas and 
other classes of Hindus eat meat, but rather as a luxury than 
as an ordinary rule, never eating the cow because it is sacred, 
or the pig because it is unclean. At their meals the Hindus 
are unsociable in the highest degree. Women never -eat with 
men, not even the wife with her husband. The well-to-do 
Hindu generally sits down to his meal in a small and dingy 
room, with his legs folded under him, on a square board 
raised three or four inches from the cow-dunged floor, while 
a tray on which are various brass or silver pots containing 
the several portions of his meal is placed before him on his 
seat. The use of a knife, fork and spoon is unknown, the 
hands only being employed. 

The proper costume of the Hindu consists of two broad 
pieces of cotton cloth one of which, called the dhotar, is folded 
round the waist, reaching well below the knee, and the end of 
it passed between the legs and secured to the waist behind ; 
the other is thrown over the soulders, a paggri or turban 
completing the costume. But Hindus now generally wear 
over the dhotar a tunic modelled on that which Muhammadans 
wear over their loose drawers or trowsers. Shoes or sandals 
are properly never worn in the house ; but there is some 
latitude in the observance of this custom. Most natives 


share parts of their heads in styles varying with the different 
castes. Brahmans shaye ail but a pig- tail which is allowed 
to grow to its natural length from the tipper part of the 
back of the head. To uncoyer the head in the presence 
of a superior, whether in or out of the house, is a mark of 
disrespect, unless it is meant as a sign of the most intense 
humility, in order to obtain a request. The houses of 
ordinary Hindus or Muhammadans are furnished in the 
most simple style, if indeed they can be said to be furnished 
at all. There are no chairs or tables ; a carpet with a mat- 
tress or some pillows covered with white cloth forms sufficient 
accommodation for the household to sit upon by day and 
sleep upon by night, a rough charpoy or bedstead being 
sometimes used. Even for writing chairs and tables are un- 
known, Hindus sitting down on the ground with their legs 
folded under them in a way that would be impossible for 
Europeans, their writing materials being placed on the 
ground in front of them. In most of these customs the 
Muhammadans resemble the Hindus, except that there is no 
limitation to the clothes that they may wear when taking 
their meals. In the times of the Weds the seclusion of women 
does not seem to have been known, but most of the upper 
classes of Hindus, influenced in great measure by Muhamma- 
dan fashions, generally follow this custom. But it is not 
universally or uniformly adhered to, and in the Deccan among 
the Brahmans and Marathas, it is often only nominally 
observed. It has not prevented ladies of rank emerging from 
time to time from their seclusion, and taking prominent 
places in Indian history. But it must be confessed that 
on the whole the Hindu's notions on the subject of marriage 
are diametrically opposed to those of the Englishman. 
Marriages amongst Hindus, and Muhammadans also, are 


arranged by the parents of the bride and bridegroom while 
those chiefly concerned are mere children, without their 
inclinations being consulted in the least. If a Hindu woman 
loses her husband, which may happen before either he or she 
is grown up, she has to pass the rest of her life, at all events 
in the higher castes, in enforced widow-hood, and is obliged to 
do all the drudgery of the household and undergo every kind 
of degradation. Often a young girl of twelve becomes the 
bride of a widower four or five times her age with the certain 
prospect in the ordinary course of nature of occupying this 
despised position for the greater part of her life. In truth, 
the fate of a Hindu widow of the higher castes seems hardly 
happier now than in the old days when she was forced on the 
death of her husband to cast herself upon his burning pyre, 
before the British Government put an end to the infamous 
rite of sati. Polygamy is not in the west of India followed 
to any great extent, but there is nothing to hinder the taking 
of a second or even a third wife by a man who is able to 
support her. 

( ^6 ) 


FOR a series of generations the Hindus were suffered to 
spread themselves all over India and develope their 
civilisation pretty much into its present shape, without let or 
hindrance from any but the aboriginal dwellers of the land. 
The time however was to come when other nations should 
attempt, one after the other wdth varying success, to wrest 
from them the sovereignty over their rich and fertile 
lands. The first recorded invasion was that of the 
great Persian king Darius, about half a century after Buddha 
preached and taught his law. His army is said to have 
reached the Indus and sailed down to the sea, and thence 
made its way back to Persia. About two centuries later 
Alexander the Great led his soldiers across the rugged 
mountains of the Hindu Kush and through the gloomy 
passes of Afghanistan into the Panjcib and crossed the Indus 
at Atak. After being hospitably entertained by the ruler 
of the country he advanced across the Jhelam, and defeated 
king Porus who was ruler of the land as far as Delhi, Going 
on as far as the Satlej the conquerer hoped within a few days 
to see the Ganges ; but his army, which is said to have 
numbered more than a hundred thousand men, refused to 
march further on his errand of exploration and conquest. 

So Alexander was forced to return home by the route 
chosen by the soldiers of Darius, though he left behind in the 
Panjab the so-called Greek kingdom of Bactria, which lasted 


for a short time after his death. The chief value of the 
history of his wonderful expedition consists in the accounts of 
the state of the country, and its people, left by the writers 
who accompanied him to India. There was no one supreme 
ruler in the country ; many independent kingdoms existed, 
whose common origin availed but little to prevent them 
from warring against each other. There were no great 
buildings ; and the cities, which were wealthy and prosperous, 
were chiefly of wood and clay. The system of caste 
was in full force, the trades especially forming separate 
bodies, and the members of each could not eat or marry with 
those of any other. The country was thickly inhabited and 
carefully cultivated, while military science was developed to a 
high extent. The people were said to be well clothed, intelli- 
gent, and law abiding, the higher classes skilled in astrology 
and mathematics. They had elaborate rules for prosody and 
prose composition, and appear indeed to have reached a level 
not much below that of the Greeks themselves. Self-govern- 
ing village communities existed then much as now ; the gulf 
between Brahmans, who were the chief possessors of learning, 
and the other castes was immense, the reformation of Buddha 
not having then reached the Panjab. In short, in all essential 
particulars the description of Alexander might have been 
equally well written by Clive. A different estimate of skill 
and intelligence would naturally be arrived at by different 
races. It is probable also that if the middle and upper classes 
appeared well to do, the victorious army of a slave-holding 
people like the Greeks w^ould take their prosperity as a type 
of the general condition of the population, and pay little 
regard to the state of the toiling masses. 

Alexander failed to effect a permanent conquest in India; 
but his invasion tended in some measure to break through 


the exclusiveness of the Hindus. Traffic grew up between 
his great city of Alexandria and Indian ports ; Greek and 
Persian merchants visited and sojourned in various parts 
of India. An attempt was made by Seleukos, the general of 
Alexander, to complete his leader's scheme of conquest ; but 
it was unsuccessful, and on the ensuance of peace he sent the 
philosopher Megasthenes to the city of Palibothra or Patna, 
the capital of the great Bengal kingdom of Megadha. The 
ruler of Megadha was then Chandra Gupta, who had been a 
soldier in the army of Porus. The Greek philosopher, in 
those of his memoirs which have survived, gives a most in 
teresting account of the rule of this monarch of whom he 
speaks in terms of high praise. Under his sway Hindustan, 
and other parts of India were consolidated into one kingdom,, 
commerce was increased by land and sea, and Java and Siam 
were colonised by Hindus. Of the roads and rest-houses, and 
of the police Megasthenes could not speak too highly. 

Buddhism was at this time gaining strength, and the great 
and wise Asoka, the grandson of Chandra Gupta, became for 
Buddhism what Constantine was afterwards for Christianity- 
This enlightened monarch, as is known from the Pali inscrip- 
tions on rocks and pillars from Orissa to Kabul, instituted 
popular courts of justice, extended roads and traffic, and, 
probably from Greek ideas, introduced architecture and 
sculpture for religious and public buildings. Before his time 
the most populous cities had nothing more permanent than, 
clay or wooden dwellings, no traces of which survive. 

At the death of Asoka the kingdom of Megadha fell to 
pieces, and from that period up to the commencement of the 
Muhammadan invasions of India the only event that can be 
said to be of interest to any but professed historical students 
is the gradual decline of Buddhism. Boughly speaking, it may 


he stated that throughout Northern India there existed a 
numher of dynasties, the strongest of whom for the time 
heing assumed the title of IMaharaj Adiraj, or Emperor ot 
India ; that some of these lasted for a longer, others for a 
■shorter period ; that they rested upon force or cunning, the 
success or failure of the rival claimants to power being achieved 
on the simple principle by which ** the people that followed 
Omri prevailed against them that followed Tibni, so Tibni died 
and Omri reigned." What has been said of Northern India 
may be applied also to Southern India. Various states existed 
which possessed no confederation, no sympathy, and no com- 
mon bond of union, but which, on the contrary, waged a per- 
petual war for supremacy. But the country was populous and 
well tilled, village communities flourished, and the sea was 
freely used for commerce. For the first six centuries of the 
Christian era the Jain faith was the predominant one, and its 
votaries built temples of much architectural skill and beauty. 
Schools were founded and education encouraged ; and civili- 
■sation in general appears to have kept pace with that of the 
north. But the schools and education were for the Brah- 
mans, and the Sudras merely existed for their benefit. 

Throughout the long series of wars and conquests and the rise 
and fall of successive dynasties one remarkable institution con- 
tinued to flourish, unaifected by any change of rulers. This was 
the system of self-governing village communities, which appears 
to have been a recognised feature in Aryan political existence 
from the earliest times. Each village may be regarded as a 
miniature state, the whole land of the country being attached 
to some one village or another. The boundaries of all the 
lands, except inaccessible tracts, were carefully marked out and 
the plots or fields into which the country was divided known 
each by its own name. The owner of each particular field was 


intensely jealous of encroachment on his Jancl, and there were^ 
of course, constant disputes as to right of possession. This 
division of the land has been carefully preserved by the 
British Government, the whole country having been elaborately 
surveyed, maps of each village prepared, and boundary marks 
erected for each field. But the ownership of land has never 
been regarded as absolute, in the same sense that it has 
been in England. It has always been conjointly held by 
the landlord and the tenant, the landlord in nearly the 
whole of the Bombay Presidency being the Government, 
and the tenure styled ryotwar, the tenant or cultivator being 
known as the ryot. The ryot is not a tenant at will, he is the 
hereditary occupant of the land ; and the Government cannot 
eject him as long as he pays the rent or tax for his field which 
is assessed for a period of thirty years. This was not invari- 
ably the case, there having been a class of tenants called Upris, 
who under native rule held their lands on such terms as Govern- 
ment might impose from year to year, as distinguished 
from the Mirasdars or part proprietors above described. But 
throughout Maharashtra the part proprietors were always 
much more numerous than the tenants-at-will, and it seems 
probable that originally all the land was held by them, the 
inferior tenure only coming in as the old proprietors were 
disturbed by the Muhammadans. The matter is at present of 
no practical importance, for by the terms of the Survey 
Settlement the British Government has secured the higher 
right to all alike. Each ryot has a separate settlement with 
Government, terminable by the cultivator at the expiration 
of each year, but by Government only on his failure to pay the 
assessment which is fixed at a uniform amount for thirty 
years. The cultivator may sell, let, or mortgage his right 
of occupancy, and at the end of the thirty years he has an 


absolute right to the renewal of the lease at revised rates, 
fixed not with reference to any improvements that he has 
made, but by general considerations of the increased value of 
land in the district, owing to the rise of prices or facilities 
of communication. So the old distinction between Minis- 
ddrs and Upris is a thing of the past, and the original system 
of the Hindu Government of giving the whole land in minis 
is again in force. Under this system the obsolute ownership 
of the land can be said to rest neither with the Government 
nor with the ryot ; it is shared between the two, an idea 
strange as it may appear to Europeans, familiar to all Hindus. 
An ignorance of this fact caused the fatal mistake of Lord 
Cornwallis in Bengal, who in his permanent settlement con- 
ferred the ownership of the land permanently and absolutely 
on the Zemindars, in imitation of the landlord system of 
Great Britain ; thus robbing the cultivators of their rights, 
and discounting the future claims of the state upon the 
revenues of the land. Such errors have fortunately been 
avoided in Bombay, where the principle at the root of the 
matter has been thoroughly grasped and its working sys- 
tem atised. A certain amount of laud, especially in the 
Deccan, has been what is called alienated, that is for services 
done to the state the Mussalman or Maratha rulers gave up 
the whole or a portion of their claims to a village or villages 
as a reward in perpetuity to a successful soldier or statesman. 
But in this case no change takes place in the position of the 
ryot, aad under the Survey Settlement, the whole of the 
assessment is collected by Government and handed over in 
whole or part as the case may be to the Inamdar, or descen- 
dant of the person to whom the land was originally granted. 
Under this tenure of land, in conjunction with the system 
of caste, the independent and self-containing nature of the 


Tillage community can well be imagined. The village was 
Tuled by its headman or Patil, an officer elected by the land- 
holders of the village for a term of years or for life, and who 
had a subordinate establishment to aid him in managing the 
village affairs. The Patil is a man of action rather than 
learning ; and in order to keep the village accounts and carry 
on such correspondence as may be necessary, the village 
possesses an hereditary accountant called the Kulkarni, who is 
generally a Brahman. The Patil had an immediate assistant 
called a Chawgla, but this officer is no longer so generally found. 
Besides these the complete establishment for a village originally 
consisted of twenty-four persons of whom twelve were of 
major and twelve of minor importance ; but in very few vil- 
lages was the estabhshment complete. All were hereditary 
as far as their family was concerned, but subject to election 
within its limits. The most important of these were the 
carpenter, the blacksmith, the shoemaker, and the Mhar, the 
latter, though an outcast, holding a responsible position in the 
village. It was his duty to watch over the boundaries of the 
village lands and individual fields and the growing crops, 
to look after travellers' horses and baggage, and be the public 
messenger and guide. When the ryot has paid his rent to 
the Patil, and the Kulkarni has registered it in his account 
books, it is the Mhar who has to carry it to the nearest 
Government treasury. Next to the Mhar was the Mang, one 
of the lowest outcast races, who eat carcases of cattle that 
have died of disease. In old days he was the public execu- 
tioner, and he made the leather whips and thongs used by 
the cultivators. Next came the potter and barber, the 
washerman and the trumpeter, the astrologer and the bard. 
Evidently by a late addition the superior estabhshment was 
completed by a Muhammadan priest, a very strange excrescence 

KAlU/i IIlN'l'L' ClVli.l>Al[M.N'. ;')., 

on the ancient Hindu village. Among the twelve who were 
considered of less importance were the butcher, the water 
carrier, and the oil-seller. 

The Pcitil was assisted by the rest of the establishment in 
discharging the duties attached to his office, and payment was 
made to each by the community for his services to it in land, 
money, or more commonly grain, each individual's share 
being fixed by the rules and regulations of the village. The 
twelve men of major importance were known as balutidars from 
balut, a handful of grain, in allusion to the remuneration 
due to them by the villagers. In cases of serious disputes 
the Piitil could summon a council of five or more, called a 
panchayat, who formed a kind of jury. In some villages the 
Patil had by grant or by usage the power of fine or impri- 
sonment in criminal cases, but as a general rule he had to 
report such matters to a superior ofiicer of Government. As 
intermediate agents between the Patil and the Raja there were 
hereditary district officers, each in charge of a large number 
of villages. They were generally known as Deshmukhs and 
Deshpands, latterly assuming the title of Zemindar ; and 
they performed for their districts duties corresponding to 
those of Patils and Kulkarnis for the villages. While under 
l^ritish rule the village system has'been retained, the duties 
of hereditary district officers becam.e more and more nominal ; 
and they were finally relieved of all liability for future service 
on condition of paying a ([uit-rent on their holdings, the 
remainder being granted to them as private property. But 
the immense value of the village system with especial reference 
to the Patil, Kulkarni and Mhar was so obvious, and the harm 
that would accrue if the influence of Government over the 
Pcitils or theirs over the people were once lost would be so great, 
that the integrity of the system has been jealously guarded. 


The status of the Patil as revenue officer and the responsible 
head of ^yhat is now known as the village police is clearly 
defined, and everything is done to support his dignity. He 
is no less the agent of the Government than the representa- 
tive of the ryot. The village system exists most vigorously 
in the Deccan, but in all parts of the Presidency there is for 
each village a Patil, an accountant, and a menial servant 

( 35 ) 


THUS for many centuries the Hindus had been suffered to 
go their own way, with little if any interference from 
without. They had attained a degree of civilisation Avhich 
in contemporary Europe must be sought in vain, but which 
had already ceased to show any promise of future exj)ansion. 
'i'heir highest unit was in one sense the famil\' and caste, 
in another the village. Beyond that, although a successful 
soldier or wise statesman might for a time unite under one rule 
a large extent of country, yet such a government lacked 
every element of stability and cohesion, its subjects having no 
common interests and no spirit of patriotism. 

It was now to be seen whether these centrifugal tendencies 
could not be eradicated, aud a spirit of union forced into being 
by the persistent pressure of foreign invasion. Early in the 
seventh century of our era there had arisen in Arabia a new 
teacher who called himself the last of the prophets ; and 
Muhammad told his countrymen that he had received a divine 
mission to force upon the whole world the choice between the 
Koran tribute or the sword. Thirty years after the Hijira or 
flight from Mecca to Medina in G22, from which date the 
!Muhammadan era is reckoned, the warriors of Islam, urged 
on no less by their fanatical zeal than by lust for plunder 
and conquest, made themselves masters of Syria, Persia^ 
and Egypt. In 664i they overcame the hardy Afghans of 
Kabul ; and in the same year the Caliph Omar founded 

'M) lIlSTOin or the BOMItAV j'i;E>II'J.Nr W 

Bassora on the soutb-^vest of Persia, from wLicli place in- 
700 ^vas despatched into Smd the first Muhammadan expedi- 
tion against India. Its success ^vas only partial ; but it was 
followed up a few years later by n larger expedition whicli^ 
under Kasim, nephew of the governor of Bassora, conquered 
Sindj and advanced to Multan. ^Vithin fifty years of Kasim's 
death the Muhammadans were expelled by the Rajputs, and 
the fame of the Arab invasion soon dwindled into a mere tradi- 
tion. This was not the only unsuccessful enterprise made by 
the Muhammadans before the tide turned which was to carry 
the supremacy of Islam over the length and breadtli of India. 
The ascendancy was of a religion rather than that of a 
nationality ; if, indeed, it may not be better described as that 
of a religious nationality which received into itself every 
one irrespective of race or birth, who would assent to the for- 
mula that there is but one GJod and Muhammad is his prophet. 
Nothing could be more radically opposed to Hindu notions 
of the necessary connection between religion and birth than 
a creed which placed tlie convert on terms of absolute religious 
and social equality with those born in the faith. Cut off irre- 
vocably from his own caste, the enthusiasm for his new reli- 
gion of the forcibly converted Hindu often exceeded that of 
its original propagators. Christianity has signally failed to 
have a like effect, for a Hindu, though he may become a 
Christian, can no more become an Knglishman than an 
Englishman can become a Hindu ; and the cc nvert to Chris- 
tianity finds himself but too often an object of contempt alike 
to his former caste-people, and to the cold unsympathising 

The next serious invasion of the Muhamm.adans was not from 
the sea, but from their kingdom of Ghazni in the Afghan 
mountains, of which Sabuktagin succeeded to the sovereignty 


ill A.D. 1>7G. This brave and skilful soldier conquered first 
Kandahar, and then Kashmir and the Panjab, both of which 
Avcre under the rule of the Hindu king Javpal. Sabuktagin, 
however, withdrew to Ghazni, and Jaypiil, aided by the kings 
of Delhi, Ajmir, and Kanauj, led against him a vast army to 
avenge the invasion of their territories. The Muhammadan 
chieftain advanced to meet them, and crushed their united 
forces. He took possession of Peshawar, and levied heavy 
contributions on the country west of the Indus. His son and 
successor, the famous iconoclast, ^lahmoud of Ghazni, incited 
by the story of his father's victories, moved upon India in 
1001, and, with a force numerically far inferior to that opposed 
to him, inflicted another crushing defeat on King Javpal ; 
•and the Hindu Raja sought death in the flames of the funeral 
])yre which he had caused to be prepared for himself. 
Mahmoud is said to have made no less than thirteen inva- 
sions of India from Ghazni, his zeal for the destruction of 
idols being at least equalled by his thirst for booty. His 
cruelty established in the hearts of the Hindu races a hatred 
of Muhammadans which has never been eradicated. Yet 
they failed to sec that union was strength ; and their 
mutual rivalries and jealousies effectually prevented a coali- 
tion Avhich, with their vast numbers, might have made them 
absolutely invincible to any invaders, whosoever they might 
be. The Ghaznevide dynasty of Sabuktagin and Mahmoud 
lasted for a century and a half, during which time a more or 
less permanent garrison was left in the Panjab : but the people 
v»ere not yet conquered, and the Muhammadans looked upon 
India not as their home, but as an appannge of their Afghan 
kingdom. In 1186 the rival Muhammadan dynasty of Ghor, 
after a struggle that had lasted for years, swept away the 
Ghazni familv, and ^Tuhammad Ghori, the brother of the Sul- 

'j^ lIl>'lOrY OF TITi: rCOITAY 1T;L-1 M: Xl^'. 

tan of Glior, overran the Panjab, and after finally defeating 
the last Sultan of Ghazni at Lahnr, established his brother's 
government. In an age -^vhen each successive ruler thought 
himself compelled to put to death all his relations T^ho might 
be possible pretenders to the throne, the fidelity shoAvn by 
Muhammad to his brother, and his brother's unbroken and 
deserved confidence in him until Muhammad himself succeeded 
to the throne in 1195, are not un^vorthy of record. Muhammad 
Ghori laid the foundation of Muhammadan rule in India. 
Hitherto the Muhammadans merely formed an army of occii- 
j)ation in a hostile country, but now the whole of Hindusti'n 
was permanently subjugated and colonised. Before his work of 
conquest Avas completed Muhammad Ghori made no less than 
six campaigns from. Ghazni ; and in his third he was utterly 
defeated by a combination of Hindu Eajas. awake for a moment 
to their common danger. The danger passed the combina- 
tion melted away ; and two years later the same battle field saw 
the reputation of Muhammad Ghori re-established, and the 
Kingof Delhi slain. The conqueror returned to Ghazni, leav- 
ing as Viceroy of Delhi, Kutab-ud-din, who had been a slave, 
and who afterwards became the first of the Slave kings of 
Delhi. During his viceroyalty Kutab advanced to Anhul- 
wara in Gujarat and defeated its king Bhim-Dew ; but 
before he could annex the kingdom he was recalled by orders 
from Ghazni. Ghori occupied each district that 
he overran, and arranged for its administration; and his 
early death alone prevented him from seeing with his own 
eyes the firm establishment of the Muhammadan empire which 
he had had the greatest share in founding. 

At the time of his death three viceroys ruled in various 
])art? of his possessions. Kutab, the viceroy of Delhi, was 
invested as king by Mahmoud the nephew and successor ot 


jMuliammad Ghori, By his ability and strength of \YillKutab 
managed to retain his hold upon all the territories to which he 
succeeded. But in his son's reign the yieeroys of Sind and 
Bengal assumed independence, and other chiefs followed their 
example. In this way during the Slave and succeeding 
dynasties India became parcelled out into a number of Muham- 
madan and Hindu States which enjoyed a less or greater degree 
of independence, according as the nominally supreme power 
was wielded by a strong or weak ruler. Some of these king- 
doms were set up by rebellious viceroys, others were created 
by the gift from the sovereign of portions of the empire to 
favourite ministers. While some of these passed away at 
once and left nothing to mark their existence, others became 
strong ajnd powerful, and even rivalled Delhi itself. The 
series of Slave kings ended in 1288, and under these rulers 
India escaped a great danger, which threatened it on more 
than one occasion, of being altogether swamped by savage 
hordes of merciless marauders, who poured down from the wastes 
of Central Asia. Commonly known as Mongols or Moghals, 
they were under the command of Jangiz Khan, a conqueror 
whose power was acknowledged from the city of Pekin to the 
banks of the Volga. These savage tribes were pagans who 
had not yet come under the civilising influence of Islam, 
and whose one object was to murder, destroy, and plunder. 
They wasted India as far as Lahur and then withdrew to 

The next dynasty after the Slave, known as the Khiljy 
lasted only from 1288 to 132], but it possesses special im- 
portance as under its rule Muhammadan conquest spread for 
the first time into the Deccan. In order to quell a rebellion 
in Malwa, a province of Central India, which had been already 
brought under Muhammadan sway, the king Jakil-ud-din 


made an expedition against it, and reduced it to obedience in 
129.3. For his exertions in this campaign Alla-ud-din, the 
nephew of the king, was rewarded by permission to march 
upon the Deccan. He conquered ElHchpur in Barar, and 
Dewgahr, now called Daolatabad, a place not far from 
Aurangabad in the Nizam's dominions. Subsequently by the 
murder of his uncle x\lla-ud-din became king of Delhi. In 
1297 he sent an expedition into Guzarat, which, after again 
taking Anhulwara, and plundering the rich city of Cambay, 
returned to Delhi. The beautiful wife of the Hindu Raja of 
Anhulwara became the bride of Alla-ud-din. In the course of 
his reign he had to send several expeditions to Dewgahr to 
suppress rebellions and enforce payment of tribute; and one 
of them passing over the Deccan and down into the Konkan, 
reached the sea-coast. Several Mongol invasions were 
repressed by Alla-ud-din. He developed into a monster 
of cruelty, and was at last murdered in 1321. 

The next dynasty 'at Delhi was that of Toghlak. Its second 
king, Muhammad Toghlak, who united extraordinary learning 
with the disposition of the tiger, reigned from 1325 to 1351. 
He subjugated most of the Deccan, and brought Guzarat 
under his dominion. He preferred the Deccan to Northern 
India, and moved his capital from Delhi to Dewgahr. The 
latter part of his reign was taken up in crushing or attempt- 
ing to crush a series of rebellions provoked by his atrocious 
cruelty. But under his rule the Muhammadan empire in 
India reached a limit which was not exceeded till the em- 
peror Aurangzeb brought almost the whole of India beneath 
his iron rule. In Western India Islam was now supreme 
through Guzarat, and Dewgahr with its dependencies extend- 
ed west to the sea-coast. Barar and most of the Eastern 
Deccan, that is now Hydarabad, with the cities of Raichur, 

]:ST.\])L1SHMI:XT O]- ?.n'lIAMMAT)A\ RLTJ:. 41 

Mudgal, Kulbarga, and Bidar were conquered, as well as 
Bijcipiir, the frontier district of Bombay. But the Muhani- 
madan possession of Puna, Sataia, and Kolhapuris doubtful, 
the sway of the Hindu Rojas probably continuing to exist. 
Lower Sind was still held by Rajput chiefs. 

But though the area of ]Muhammadan contjuests had at- 
tained such vast dimensions the conquerors had but little 
stronger bonds of union than the Hindu kings and chiefs 
whom they had supplanted. Even the enthusiasm for their 
militant religion could only bind them togetbcr for the pur- 
pose of aggression against a common foe. Ere their victori- 
ous career was completed their empire, as we have seen, 
began to split up. The provinces could not be governed 
except by deputies of the supreme ruler at Delhi, and each 
deputy or viceroy as soon as his master was at a safe distance 
set up an independent rule of his own. The twenty-seven years 
of Muhammad Toghlak's reign formed a succession of rebel- 
lions and bloody reprisals, executions, and massacres, to which 
the world has seldom seen a parallel. The criminal law was 
brutally harsh, the ordinary punishments being the cutting off 
of hands and feet, of noses and ears, the putting out of eyes, 
burning, crucifixion, ham-stringing, and cutting to pieces. 
There were vexatious imposts upon trade and cultivation ; and 
the canals, reservoirs, bridges, public baths, and hospitals for 
which later Muhammadan rulers achieved fame had not been 
commenced. In fact, Muhammadan rule, so far at all events, 
was a curse, and not a blessing. It did nothing to alleviate the 
condition of the great mass of the people, and by its intolerance 
consolidnted the bonds of Brahmanical sacerdotalism. 

Muhammad Toghlak died in Sind in 1351. Four years 
before that event Zaffar Khan, one of the most remarkable 
men of his times, accomplished a rebellion, which brought 



into iiidepeiident existence a ^Yealthy and powerful Muhamma- 
dan State in the Deccan. Zaffar Khan was once a menial 
servant of a Brahman at Delhi named Gangii, and by his 
signal honesty gained his master's favour and received great 
kindness at his hands. The Brahman is said to have prophe- 
sied that his servant should attain royal honours. He was 
recommended to the service of the king of Delhi, and rose to a 
liigh military command in the Deccan. The exactions of 
Muhammad Toghlak had in 1341 caused a widespread revolt 
in that province. It was put down with merciless cruelty, 
and the Delhi officers plundered and wasted the land. Hassan 
Gangu, as Zaffar Khdn was also called, availed himself of the 
discontent thus caused against the house of Delhi to gather 
together in his own interests, both many Mussalman nobles 
and Hindu chiefs. Feeling secure of his strength he 
attacked and defeated the royal troops at Bidar, and made 
h.imself ruler of all the Deccan possessions of Delhi. He 
was crowned king, and out of gratitude to his former master 
took the strange title for one of his faith of AUa-ud-din 
Hassan ' Gangu Bahmani * (Brahmani). Not only did 
he thus adopt his master's name but he made him his trea- 
surer, the earliest instance of high office being conferred by 
Muhammadans upon a Hindu. The two incidents are the more 
remarkable when it is remembered that at that time Moslem 
nobles vied with each other in the fiercest fanaticism and 
hatred of Hindu idolators. 

The Bahmani Muhammadan dynasty of the Deccan lasted 
from 1347 to 1525, or 19 years, for the most part in great 
glory and power. Its kings showed terrible and relentless 
cruelty to those who opposed them, but to those who submitted 
to their rule they were on the whole considerate and moderate 
in their treatment. Cultivation and trade increased, ships 


sailed to Egypt and Arabia from the royal ports of Goa and 
Chaul in the Konkan, to return laden with the choicest pro- 
ductions of Europe. In wars waged with Hindu Rajas this 
dynasty showed great military genius and detestable cruelty ; 
one king, Ahmad Shah, in his operations against Bijanagar, 
a Hindu kingdom of comparatively late growth, halting 
wherever the slain amounted to 20,000, and making a festival 
in celebration of the bloody event. The Bahmani kings in- 
troduced many foreign troops such as Persians, Tartars, 
Moghals, and Arabs from ^vhose union with the women 
of the country ha^e descended the mixed Deccani Mussalman 
breeds. These have in great measure merged into the agricul- 
tural classes, and lost the warlike spirit of their ancestors. 
The finances of the state were brought into fair order, educa- 
tion was promoted and the army raised to a high state of effi- 
ciency. The Bahmani territories were gradually extended 
from sea to sea, and the Konkan was thoroughly subdued. 
Bijapur and Belgaum were included in its limits, but Dhur- 
war belonged to Bijanagar. Like other eastern despotisms 
the strength of the Bahmani kingdom was purely personal r 
and the increasing feebleness of its later kings brought 
about its dissolution into five independent kingdoms. The 
chief historical records of this period that have come down 
to us are occupied mostly with wnrs, massacres, and intrigues ; 
but there are occasional references to transactions of quieter 
times which show a more tolerable state of things than 
existed under the contemporary rule of Delhi. Hindus were 
not indeed employed in pubHc affairs, other than in most 
inferior offices, but the title of the dynasty brought a certain 
consideration for the Brahman caste. No interference was 
attempted with the system of corporate village Government, 
a system which gave the people justice when they could not 

*±* Hi.->J(»KV Ub" lliE Ho\ji]AV J'Pv J:.<1 DEXl V. 

obtain it elsewhere. The ground was Avell tilled and travel- 
ling fairly secure. Architecture, except in the construction 
of fortresses, did not attain any particular excellency, though 
there was some improvement when the capital moved fioui 
its original seat of Kulbarga to Bidar. But the Bahmani 
fortresses ranging from the mountain strongholds of feudal 
chieftains to imperial forts of enormous strength exceeded 
those that existed in Europe. ]Most of these were in what is 
now Hydarabad territory, but Bombay possesses a specimen 
of them in Sholapur. Under the Bahmani Mussalman rule 
there is said to have been a considerable amelioration of man- 
ners; and in spite of the loathsome and abominable cruelty 
of its rulers to all who dared to resist them, its existence may 
not have been devoid of some beneficial effects. 

During the independent existence of the Muhammadan 
kingdom of the Deccan, Guzarat, which AUa-ud-din Khilji 
had added to his dominions in 1297, but in which the 
Hindus were by no means permanently subjugated, became a 
separate Muhammadan kingdom in 1391. It was severed 
from the Delhi empire by the rebellious viceroy Mozaifar 
Khan, whose grandson Ahmad, on his succession in 1411, 
commenced building a new capital at Ahmadabad whose 
remarkable ruins bespeak its orighial grandeur. The archi- 
tectural style w^as a transitional one from the Hindu or Jain 
to the Indo-Sarasenic, and it follows that as yet the Muham- 
niadans had no architecture of their own. Guzarat nominally 
included the Rajput country of Ivathiawar, and the founder 
of Ahmadab<\d carried his arms into the peninsula and re- 
duced the Hindu fortress of Junagahr. Like his grandfather 
in an age of intolerance this king distinguished himself l)y 
outrageous fanaticism against Hindus and their temples and 
religion. His dominions wore invaded bv one of the Bah- 

E>TABLlSHMi:>:i (ji :\IL liA.MMADAN IM'LE. 45 

mani kings Ahmad Shah as an ally of the khig of Khandesh, 
and after a fiercely contested struggle in the island of Salsette 
adjoining Bombay, the Deccan troops were forced to retreat. 
The kingdom of Guzarat was consolidated by its king Mah- 
moud, who came to the throne in 1450, He led successful 
campaigns into Kachh (Cutch) and the borders of Sind. reduc- 
ing the fort of Cbampaner ; and extended his dominions to 
the Indus and the desert. He was a })Owerfal and efficient 
ruler. In 1509 he received an embassy from Delhi, acknow- 
ledging his independence, an official recognition from the 
emperor always highly valued by Muhammadaii kings. For 
though ready to support their independence by the sword, these 
rulers generall}^ acknowledged the theoretical supremacy (jf the 
emperor. Mahmoud subsequently distinguished himself ns 
a soklier against the Portuguese. Guzarat was still in enjoy- 
ment of the high position to which he had raised it when the 
empire of the grand Moghal came into being in 1526. 

Khandesh, it has been stated, is a district or province which 
though according to the striet geographical definition included 
in the Deccan, practically does not ibrm pai t of it. It is a 
low-lying country between the elevated plateau of Central 
India on the north and that of the Deccan on the south. It 
is bounded on the north by the Satpura mountains; it is 
watered by the river Tapti which flows through it from east 
to west and by numerous small tributaries that fall into it. 
Naturall}^ fertile it was well cultivated under the Muhamma- 
dans, but in after years famine and the raids of the Marathas 
reduced it to a state of desolation from which it has needed all 
the eiforts of the British Government to reclaim it to a state 
of prosperity. Its original capital was at Talner. 

The first Mussalman governor of Khandesh was appointed 
by tbe Toghlak rulers of Delhi in 1370. Like neighbouring 


viceroys he proclaimed his independence. In 1400 his succes- 
sor, iMciUk Nasir, seized the powerful fortress of Asirgahr on 
the eastern horders of Khiindesh, now included in the Central 
Provinces. He founded near it on the banks of the Tapti the 
city of Burhanpur, which for many years formed the capital 
of Khandesh. This city became one of the most splendid 
and luxurious in India, and grew famous for the manufacture 
of gold and silver cloths, silks, and muslins. Khandesh, like 
other parts of India had no immunity from wars, both within 
its borders and with external enemies ; and on a disputed 
succession Mahmoud, the great king of Guzarat, marched into 
the country and placed upon the throne one of the claimants 
named Adil KhjUi. His son, Miran Muhammad, who succeeded 
in 1520 was the reigning prince when in 1526 the IMoghal 
empire commenced. 

In Sind the Muhammadans formed the supreme power from 
the early part of the 13th century, when an invader from 
Ghazni subdued the Rajput tribe of Sumeras and called him- 
self king of Sind. But the Hindu dynasty of the Sumana 
Rajputs, entitled Jains, succeeded, and paid tribute to Belhi 
up to 13G0. On their refusal to do so any longer the Toghlak 
emperor invaded Sind from Guzarat, and a few years later 
the Jains embraced the faith of Islam. Wars and invasions 
and changes of dynasty make up the history of Sind until 
shortly before the foundation of the Moghal empire ; and at 
the beginning of that epoch Sind was under the rule of Shah 
Beg Arghun, who had sprung from Khorassan and had made 
himself ruler of Multan in the Panjab. 

While what is now Bombay was split up into the Bahmani 
kingdom of theDeccan and the kingdomsof Guzarat, Khandesh, 
and Sind, all of which were Muhammadan, and the kingdom 
of Bijanagar, that was Hindu, things liad not been going well 


with tlie nominalh' supreme Government at Delhi. Factions, 
civil t\'ars, and rebellions pursued their course, broken only for 
n ^vhile by the benevolent reign of Feroz, a monarch who 
besides executing many useful public works mitigated for a 
time the intolerant cruelty of Muhammadan law. But the em- 
pire such as it was could barely maintain a nominal supremacy 
over its rebellious vassals, and it was altogether impotent to 
ward off invasion from Avithout. Attracted by the rumours of its 
growing confusion Taimur the Tart^ir or Tamerlane, as he is also 
called, marched into India from his home at Samarkand with 
hordes no less terrible than those of his ancestor Jangiz 
Khan. lie advanced to Delhi in 1398 and there proclaimed 
himself emperor of India ; and after ruthlessly massacring 
the inhabitants right and left returned to the wilds of Central 
Asia leaving as his deputy in India Khizr Khan, viceroy 
of Lfihur. For a few years the dynasty of Toghlak continued 
to rule in name ; but there soon ceased to be a king or emperor 
of Delhi at all, and Khizr Kluin and his successors held the 
land in the name of Tamerlane. One more attempt was 
made at independent rule, and the Afghan Lodi administra- 
tion developed into a dynasty Avhich with more or less 
success over recalcitrant viceroys lasted from 1478 to 1526. 
But it collapsed amidst general rebellion, the deputies as usual 
declaring their independence. One of these however thought 
that he might more effectually gain his ends in another way; 
and Daulat Khan Lodi of the Panjab journeyed to Kabul, and 
thence brought back its ruler Babar, the descendant of 
Tamerlane, to claim the empire of Delhi in virtue of his 
ancestor's conquest. In no way loath to put forward his 
claim Babar advanced on Delhi, and in 1526 on the field of 
Panipat inflicted a crushing defeat upon Ibrahim the last of 
the Lodis. Bjibar's main work was still before him, but his 

48 HlsToliV OF TIIK l> PliEsii-K.V. :'. 

victory made him the first of the so-called Moghal emperors 
of Delhi. His line continued to hold the nominal snzeraintv 
of India, until Bahadur Shah was removed from his throne bv 
the British Government after the great mutiny of 1857. 

I have now given a rough outline of the events that oc- 
curred in India from the earliest times up to the foundation 
of the empire of the Grand Moghal in 1526. One event of 
supreme importance which took place a little more than 
quarter of a century before the invasion of Babar has as yet 
been omitted, and the story of the coming of the Portuguese 
must be told later on. I have selected certain names or 
incidents rather as links in the chain of history, or as land- 
marks to accentuate various stages in the general condition of 
the people, and as illustrations of the various phases of growth 
and stagnation, than from any inherent importance rendering 
them worthy of a place in our memory. I have laid greater 
stress on all that more especially relates to what is no^v 
Bombay, and made room for more incident in its narrative : 
but it has not been possible to avoid some description of con- 
temporary events in other parts of India. 

When Babar won his victory at rani})at more than eight 
centuries had passed since the first Muhammadan inroads. 
For a long time their invasions had been mere raids for plun- 
der, and for a longer time still the position of the conquerors 
was only that of a military garrison in a foreign country. 
Yet for three hundred years Muhammadan rulers had reigned 
continuouslv, and their people had made their homes in the 
land. There were from time to time bright intervals in these 
dark ages : and the nobility of character of more than one 
sovereign prompted him to take some measures for the allevia- 
tion of the condition of the toiling masses over whom he 
ruled. Some benevolent monarch might regard the con- 


f(uered races as human beings, possessing no less right to tlif 
protection of the law, and to the air which they breathed, 
than the followers of the prophet themselves. But, on the 
whole, the general condition of the country changed for 
the worse. The brilliancy, refinement, and learning of the 
future Moghal empire had not yet sprung up to relieve the 
hideous blackness of an uncompromising and intolerant faith. 
The unity of God was predched at the point of the sword ; 
but ruthless massacres and the enslaving of the unbelievers, 
the sacking of their temples, and the destruction of their 
shrines, could not force the Hindus to give up their ancient 
worship. The obstinacy of their resistance to concede a single 
point in their religion, emphasises the more intensely their 
singular inability to unite for the purposes of driving out of 
the country the enemies of their faith. There was indeed nn 
lack of cause to incite them to a common resistance. Their 
dynasties swept away, they were excluded from public em- 
ployment except in the lowest grades ; they were debarred 
from, all influence as statesmen, and might utter no opinion 
reflecting on the dominant government. The government 
was in fact one of brute force with no further aim than con- 
<iuest, and it was absolutely incapable of any enlightened 

But what made the position of the conquered less intoler- 
able was the system of village communities that existed in its 
greatest strength in the Deccan and West of India. As long 
as the inhabitants of each village were left to manage their 
own affairs, and the rulers contented themselves with exacting 
a not intolerable land revenue, they could maintain an attitude 
of stoical indifference to any change of dynasty. Their 
temples might be destroyed : but while the priesthood 
remained, and each household possessed its family gods, there 


was but little harm done to the solaces of their religion. 
Tyranny in the lon^: run can have but little effect upon these 
self-containing communities, and the most barbarous and vin- 
dictive ruler must sooner or later realise the invaluable aid 
which they afford to his authority. But while the people 
of each village might thus retain some substantial freedom 
which was denied to their race as a whole, the very fact 
of such a possibility inevitably increased the strength of those 
centrifugal forces which effectually prevented a common union 
against a common foe. 

Clearly then Muhammadan rule at tbis period is weighed 
in the balance and found wanting. It must, however, be 
credited with one good result. The inroads of savage 
hordes of pagans under Jangiz and his successors might have 
overcome the disunited armies of Hindu princes, and effectually 
swamped the civilisation of India without replacing it by 
another from without. The mihtary genius of Muhamma- 
danism could unite under one banner all the fierce warriors of 
Islam, and drive from the land the wild tribes of the desert. 
And, later on, when Babar brought his armies to conquer the 
lands which his pagan ancestors had ravaged, he and his people 
had long since become members of the faith which taught 
that there is one God, and Muhammad is his prophet. 

( ^1 ) 


IK the mouth of May, 1498, the famous Portuguese Adaiiral. 
Vasco da Gama, sighted the beautiful peaks of the ^ilgiri 
hills that form the continuation of the "Western Ghats ; and 
sailing up to the shores of India he weighed anchor in the 
harbour of Kalikat. The ^yay was now opened to successive 
expeditions from different European countries ; and a series 
of traders and explorers, who did not so much as dream 
of founding an empire, was destined to effect in India a more 
tremendous revolution than had taken place since the lirst 
invasion of the Aryans. 

There was nothing new in the idea of trade between India 
and the West. From the days of Alexander the goods of 
Northern India found their way to Europe by way of Kabul, 
Astrakhan, and the shores of the Caspian Sea. Another 
route was by way of Persia and Egypt to the Mediterranean 
ports. The goods that arrived at the Great Sea by this 
overland route were forwarded in ships of Genoese and Vene- 
tian merchants who possessed a monopoly of the traffic. For 
the export of merchandize to Egypt the ports of Kachin, Ka- 
likat, Goa, Dabul, and Chc4ul on the Konkan and Malabar 
coasts formed, with the harbours of Guzarat, the chief em- 
poriums of trade. But India was a distant and mysterious 
land. The reputation of its wealth and splendour formed an 
irresistible attraction to the brave explorers of an adventurous. 


Tvge. AVhile CoIumb\is sailed across the Atlantic, and dis- 
covered a new Avoild which he took to be the India upon 
which he had longed to feasfc his ejes, Bartholomew Diaz 
in 148(3 voyaged from Lisbon unto the Southern Cape of 
Africa. He went so far as to discover that beyond it the 
land trended away to the north-east ; and it is even said 
that one of his men found his v.ay to India itself. 

Diaz found the Southern cape of Africa a cape of 
storms. Eleven years later the peaceful weather that he met 
with in those regions caused Vasco da Gama to name it the 
Cape of Good Hope. On Christmas Dav, 1497, he sighted 
the country which, from this circumstance, he called Natal. 
Sailing on to Zanzibar he found a fleet of merchant vessels 
from India, and securing the services of a pilot from Guzanit 
he crossed the Indian Ocean to Kalikat. 

Less at that time than ever w^as India prepared to make a 
formidable resistance to an invader. The empire of the 
Grand Moghal was not to be founded for more than a quar- 
ter of a century Liter. The sovereignty of Delhi was at its 
last gasp, distracted by an interminable series of wars, and it 
had for many years been governed as a province of Tamer- 
lane's dominions. Rebellious viceroys reigned over as much 
country as they could hold by force. Everywhere Muham- 
madan States were struggling for supremacy. Here and 
there Hindu kingdoms joined in the contest, but Bijanagar 
was well-nigb the sole independent Hindu State remaining 
in India. The pow^erful Bahmani dynasty of the Deccan was 
in the throes of dissolution ; and on its ruins were springing 
up and taking form five separate States, Of these two in 
what is now Bombay, the Nizam Shahi dynasty at Ahmad- 
nagar, and the Adil Shahi at Bijapnr, lasted as independent 
and j)0wcrful kingdoms until they were brought under the 


sway of x\urangzib; and so also the Kiitab Shall Jyiiastv of 
Golkonda, in what is now Hydarubad. An attempt was made 
to maintain the Bahmani dynasty in the Barid Shahi family 
at Bidar, and Imad Shahi kings reigned for a time in Barar. 
The futnre greatness of the Manithas, who were afterwards to 
rise lip in their strength from their mountain-homes and 
form a confederacy of states that it took all the power of 
the English to conquer, was not even foreshadowed. They 
had for generations remained passive beneath the rule of 
Islam, nay, had even served loyally in its armies. While the 
kingdoms that rose from the ashes of the I'ahmani dynasty 
were engaged in endless mutual rivalry, and later on in their 
contests against Akbar and Aurangzib, they little thought 
which while exhausting their own strength they were exciting 
in the Marathas that spirit of rapine, ])lundcr, and dominion, 
which was all the while latent in the race. In fact, the real 
greatness of native India had not begun. The popular idea 
of eastern magnificence and luxury is based on a state of 
tilings that for the most part grew up later. 

For the century that succeeded the arrival of Vasco da 
Gama the chief interest in the history of Western India 
centres in the rise of the Portuguese commercial supremacy 
along the coast, conjointly with the expansion of the new 
Moghal empire. By the end of that century these two 
powers shared the whole of what is now Bombay, Avith the 
moribund kingdoms of Ahmadnagar and Bijapur. And to 
elucidate the growth of the Portuguese and Moghal powers 
it will be useful to sketch in advance the condition during 
this century of the states that confronted them in Western 
India. In Sind the independent viceroy being harassed by 
invaders from Kandahar had called in to his aid Shah Beg 
Arghun, (page 36), who was independent at Multan. The 


invaders were dfiven out, but Shah Beg Arghun had no in- 
tention of doing his work for nothing, and he retained Bind for 
himself. The former ruler, hopeless of regaining his king- 
dom, entered the service of the king of Guzarat. The 
Arghun family was succeeded by a Persian one which pre- 
served the independence of the province until 1692, when it 
was subdued by the forces of Akbar, and its ruler enrolled 
among the nobles of his empire. 

Guzarat, including Kathiawar, was at the height of its 
eminence, and possessed the coast as far as Chaul, twenty- 
eight miles south of Bombay. Its king, Bahadur Shah, who 
succeeded Mozaffar Shah in 1526, annexed Malwa in Central 
India, and his authority was acknowledged as paramount in 
the Deccan as far south as Ahmadnagar. But in 1535, in spite 
of his fine park of artillery manned by Portuguese gunners, 
he was overthrown and driven to flight by Humayan. But 
the Moghals could not hold the kingdom long at that time, 
and an era of confusion and anarchy followed that lasted 
until 1572. In that year Mozafl'ar Shah, the last claimant 
to the throne, submitted to Akbar at Ahmadabad. He was 
enrolled amongst Akbar's nobilit}^, but afterwards made an 
impotent attempt to rebel, and ended his days in exile at 

Khandesh succeeded in maintaining its existence as a 
separate State, though not without considerable interference 
from Guzarat on the one side and Ahmadnagar on the other, 
until 1594. Its ruler then submitted to the Moghal general, 
who was on his way to besiege Ahmadnngar, and joined his 
army with 6,000 horse. 

The kingdom cf Ahmadnagar was founded, and its capital 
built in 1494 by Malik Ahmad, who, together with his father, 
Nizam-ul-Mulk had managed the districts which comprised it 


^vlien they formed part of the Bahmani kingdom. MaHk 
Ahmad had for some time aspired at carving out a separate 
state, and in disgust at the murder of his father by the 
Bahmani authorities boldly asserted his independence and 
sustained it against all efforts made to subdue him. He 
moved his seat of government from Junnar in Puna to Bingar, 
where he built the city called after his name. 

The rival kingdom of Bijiipur was founded five years 
^^arlier by Yusuf Adil Shah, Commander-in-Chief of the 
Bahmani army. It had been the site of an ancient Hindu 
■city, of which a few traces still remain, and was the seat 
of a provincial government of the Deccan kingdom. 

These two kingdoms were constantly at war with one 
-another, though it occasionally suited them to combine against 
outsiders. Their united armies on several occasions fought 
against Golkonda, the third of the kingdoms which arose on 
tlie fall of the Bahmani government, and succeeded in 
maintaining a sej)arate existence. Oolkonda was, however, to 
the east of the Bombay Presidency, and concerns us in less 
degree than its rivals. 

Ahmadnagar and Bijapur practically divided between them 
so much of the Deccan as belongs to Bombay, and all the 
Konkan. Ahmadnagar possessed the coast-line from Chaul 
to Bjinkot, and south of that Bijapur held the sea-coast towns. 
Khandesh, it has been shown, was not included in this dispo- 
sition of territory, and though Ahmadnagar held the inland 
Konkan Guzarat held its coast-line. Two strong and turbu- 
lent States like Ahmadnagar and Bijapur could not look 
with content on the proximity of the rich Hindu kingdom of 
Bijanagar. Religious fanaticism and hunger for its broad 
acres alike stimulated them to form a joint confederacy 
with Golkonda, Bidar, and Barar against the only state that 


had not bowed its head to the followers of the Prophet of 
Mecca. In 1564 the government of Bijanagar was crushed, 
and its capital destroyed. The parcelhng out of its conquered 
lands proved a less easy matter ; and while some of them 
hecame a fruitful source of dispute between its conquerors 
]nany remained in the hands of local chieftains, who, for the 
most part, became, in course of time, vassals of Bijapur. Mean- 
while Ahmadnagar enlarged its dominions by swallowing up 
in 1572 the territories of its late ally Barar. The compara- 
tively unimportant State of Bidar, which considered itself the 
representative of the Bahmani power, had been invaded and 
conquered by Bijapur in 1529, and the king deposed 
and given a command in the Bijapur army. He served 
the state well, and was therefore allowed a sort of spurious 
independence at Bidar until he was conquered by Akbar. 

The boundaries between Ahmadnagar and Bijapur were 
constantly changing, and depended upon the strength for the 
time being of their mutual forces. The possession of Sho- 
hipur was a constant matter of dispute ; but roughly speaking, 
Ahmadnagar held the modern districts of Nasik, part of 
which, however, belonged to Khandesh, Ahmadnagar, Satara, 
Puna, part of Thana, including Kalyan, Kolaba, and the State 
of Janjira, which was claimed also by Guzarat ; and besides 
these a considerable slice of Ilydarabad, including Aurangabad 
and Galna. Sholapur oscillated between the two, but Bijapur 
heklDharwar, Belgaum, Bijapur, Batuiigiri and Kanara. But 
on both of these as well as on Guzarat the Portuguese before 
long steadily encroached. The confederacy which succeeded 
in crushing Bijanagar was of no avail against the European 
merchants who were establishing their factories alo^ig the 
seashore. East of Ahmadnagar and Bijapur the dominions ot 
Golkonda extended to the Bav of Benn:al. 


Such were the rival powers that had to he dealt with on the 
one side hy the Portuguese, oii the other hy the new Moghal 
empire of Delhi. Guzarat, Aliniadnagar, and Bijapur, each 
possessed a certain magniticence, each earned some reputation 
as a civihsed government, and each produced some distin- 
guished men. But in all alike the whole system of govern- 
ment was ephemeral. It depended not upon any permanent 
system or love of order ; it rested solely upon the personal 
caprice of irresponsible despots. While most of these delight- 
ed in plunder and persecution, and gave themselves up 
to the vilest pleasures, it is recorded on the other hand 
that many of them devoted themselves to good govern- 
ment, the well-being of their subjects, and the encourage- 
ment of learning. But all the good done by one benevolent 
monarch might be undone by his successor. The want of a 
permanent and consistent policy embodied in a system of 
nationality caused the labours of tho most enlightened rulers 
to have purely evanescent results. 

For the mngniiiceuce of its buildings and the strength of 
its defences, Bijapur was without a rival. The mighty dome 
that covers the mausoleum of Sultan !Mahmud exceeds in 
dimensions any other iu the world, and in no country can the 
mosque and tomb of Ibrahim be surpassed for gracefulness 
of outline. On all sides palaces, tombs, reservoirs, and 
fortresses, even now almost perfect, convey to the beholder a 
sense of the majesty of a state that has long since passed 
away. Nor did its governors scorn to avail themselves of the 
aid of Portuguese painters and artizans to beautify their city^ 
and these together with Christian missionaries were not only 
tolerated but encouraged in the Adil vShahi capital. 

The unceasing wars between these Deccan kingdoms com- 
pelled them to keep up enormous forces. They all preferred 


to enlist Turks, Arabs, Moghals, and Portuguese ; but tbey 
were compelled to fill up, in most part, the rank and file of 
their armies with the Manitha and other Hindu natives of 
the country. This necessity stimulated a martial spirit in 
the vanquished races, which might have no little danger for 
Muhammadans. It foreshadowed the imprudence of tbat 
policy of placing an excessive amount of power in the hands 
of conquered mercenaries which was well-nigh to prove fatal 
to British rule itself. But when in. 1529 Burhan Nizam Shah 
of Ahmadnagar bestowed the office of Peshwaj or prime min- 
ister, on a Brahman, and Ibrahim Add Shah on his acces- 
sion to the throne of Bijapur in 1555 showed his preference 
for the natives of Maharashtra as men of business no less 
than as soldiers, by letting Marathi take the place of Persian 
as the court and official language, the power and in- 
fluence of the Maratha Brahmans were necessarily increased. 
And so in addition to the men who possessed physical strength 
and warlike training a class came to the front which, gifted 
Avith keen intellect, intense ambition, and unrivalled powers 
of machination and scheming, formed the head which could 
' direct the movement of the giant limbs as yet unconscious of 
their strength. The Marathas were more numerous in the 
armies of Bijdpur and Ahmadnagar, but they also served 
under Golkonda, neither community of language and religion 
nor national sentiment preventing them from fighting against 
each other. In fact fighting and plunder were to them food 
and drink ; they little recked under whose banner they were 
ranged, and if their rulers lacked quarrels of their own the 
Marathas had an interminable series of hereditar}" feuds 
between individuals and families, in which they were always 
ready to fight to the death. The Deccan kings had no 
desire to heal their disputes which they believed would keep 


the ]\Iarathas poised against each other and so prevent any 
lasting union against the sway of Islam. 

Vasco da Gama on landing at Kalikat was wtU received by 
its ruler, who bore the title of Zamorin, and the Portuguese 
were greatly impressed by the magnificence with which he 
was surrounded. Permission to trade was granted, but obstruc- 
tion and intrigue soon appeared ; and owing to the detention 
by the Zamorin of two of their officers the Portuguese were 
unable to effect their departure for several months. The 
officers were at last released and TJa Gama sailed away, but 
he had no little difficulty in escaping the fleet of forty ships 
which had been collected to capture his vessels. 

The success of this expedition encouraged the Portuguese 
to send another under Pedro Cabral, which reached Kalikat 
in September, 1500. Cabral was received with no less pomj) 
and dignity than his predecessor, and he was allowed to 
establish the first European factory in India. But disagree- 
ment soon arose w ith the intriguing Muhammadan population ; 
the factory was stormed, and the commandant killed. The 
retribution was prompt. Cabral seized ten ships of the 
Muhammadan merchants, transferred their cargo to his own, 
and after burning the vessels bombarded the city. He then 
sailed south to Kachin, where he was well received, and he left 
some of his men in charge of the factory which he was per- 
mitted to establish at that place. He afterwards sailed to 
Kannanur, a port rorth of Kalikat, completed his cargoes, and 
sailed for Europe. 

Before his arrival a third expedition had been despatched 
under Juan de N"uevn. The new commander first touched at 
Anjidiwa, an island near Goa, and then proceeded to Kachin 
where the men left at the factory had been well treated. The 
Zamorin of Kalikat sent a fleet to attack him, and the Kachin 


ruler fid vised him to stand on his defence. But scorning 
their counsel he boldly sailed against the Ziimorin's ships, 
and with his guns inflicted on them a crushing defeat. The 
Ziimorin afterwards invited De Nueva to visit Kulikat, but 
treachery was not without reason suspected, and the over- 
tures were declined. The ^Portuguese obtained rich cargoes 
and made their way to Europe. 

The experience of these three voyages convinced the Por- 
tuguese that their commercial enterprises to India must be 
supported by force of arms. It was essential that they should 
be able to protect their expeditions from the cupidity of 
sovereigns like the Zamorin of Kalikat, and ensure more than 
a mere tolerance from states such as Kachin and Kannanur. 
Of the real rulers of Western India Ahmadnagar and Bijapur, 
or of the Bahmani kingdom which they were then supplant- 
ing, the Portuguese had thus far learnt nothing. But what 
they did learn was that there was a large trade between India 
and Arabia and Southern Persia in the hands of Muhammadans. 
This they determined to divert into their own, not by any 
legitimate competition, but by the simple process of wholesale 
destruction and murder. 

In 1502 Vasco da Gama was sent out to subvert at all hazards 
the Muhammadan commercial supremacy. He commanded 
twenty ships, with a full complement of sailors and soldiers. 
Tlis plan was that while he himself drove the Muhammadan 
vessels from the coasts of India, his captains should cut them 
off at the mouth of the lied Sea. He soon showed the spirit 
iu which he meant to carry on his operations ; and a deed of 
infamous and wanton cruelty was done off Kannanur where 
he met with an Egyptian ship carrying pilgrims from India 
to Mecca. The details of his action are narrated by the 
Portuguese historian, Earia Y. Souza. Reserving the children 


as slaves and converts the crew and passengers numbering 
about three hundred were battened down, and the ship set 
on fire. But the behaviour of the Zamorin of Kfihkat to 
the previous expeditions still rankled in Da Gama's breast. 
He sailed to Kalikat, and capturing the crews of fishing 
craft and small trading vessels, informed the Zdmorin 
that unless his demands were instantly complied with 
these men would be executed. His demands were met with 
refusal, or delay and evasion that implied refusal. The 
prisoners were therefore hanged at the yard-arm of Da 
Gama's ships, and their hands and feet sent to the Zamorin. 
Such was the guise under which Christianity was presented to 
Hindus and Muhammadans ; and to the former the creed which 
taught that all men were alike children of a merciful Father 
may have seemed hardly more seductive than the faith of the 
prophet which bade men choose between the Koran tribute 
and the sword. After further contests with the ruler of 
Kalikat, and cementing his alliance with the Rjljas of Kachin 
and KVvnnanur, Vasco da Gama sailed for Europe in 1503, 
leaving a viceroy to protect Portuguese interests in India. 

For the next twelve years events followed each other 
with startling raj)idity, and a Portuguese empire grew 
up both on land and sea with a magical swiftness, 
compared with which the efforts of early English merchants 
appear indeed poor and insignificant. On Da Gama's 
departure the Zamorin took up arms against Kachin, and 
demanded the surrender of the Portuguese. His de- 
mands were refused, and his forces defeated by the 
Kachin troops, the Portuguese remaining aloof in their ships. 
Before long powerful reinforcements arrived from Portugal 
under Alfonzo Albuqueique, and the Zamorin was defeated and 
compelled to sue for peace. Formal permission for the esta- 


blisliment of the Portuguese factory at Kaehin was received 
from the Raja. Albuquerque now sailed for Portugal, and 
obtaining valuable aid from the Raja of Bijanagar, the Zamo- 
rin advanced against Kaehin with 50,000 men and a large 
fleet. But the small Portuguese force defeated the Zumorin 
in several sanguinary engagements, and a further fleet of 
thirteeu men-of-war arriving from Portugal the joint forces 
bombarded and destroyed Kalikat, and then captured the 
Zamorin's fleet of seventeen ships. In 1506 the Portuguese 
Admiral Soarez sailed home with a vast booty. 

The next yearDom Francis xVlmeida arrived from Portugal 
with the rank of Viceroy of India, in command of a large 
fleet and fifteen hundred trained soldiers. He built a fort 
oil the island of Anjidiwa and sailed to Kaehin with a crown of 
gold and jewels especially manufactured for the Raja. Here 
he learnt of a powerful combination against him, the Muham- 
madans being now thoroughly aroused by Portuguese interfer- 
ence with their commerce. The king of Bijapur had nnited 
with Muhammad Shah, the mighty king of Guzanit, and to 
their combined strength was added a fleet of twelve ships 
built in the Red Sea, and furnished by the Mameluke Sultan of 
Egypt. The opposing fleets met at Chaul, which then be- 
longed to Ahmadnagar. The enemy fought with an ardour 
and skill not hitherto experienced by the Portuguese in the 
East. The Portuguese suffered a reverse. Their flag-ship 
was sunk, and a decided blow dealt to their supremacy. But 
for the arrival of two more fleets, one of which was under 
Alfonzo Albuquerque, it would have been difficult for them 
to maintain their foothig. With the aid of the fresh arrivals 
the Portuguese attacked the Muhammadan positions in the 
Persian Gulf and Red Sea, taking Ormuz and Muscat. 
Albuquerque was appointed Viceroy of India, but before he 


received charge of the vice-regal appointment iVhneida des- 
troyed the Ahmadnagar port of Dabul on the Ilatnagiri coast, 
and saiUng northwards obtained a magnificent victory over the 
combined Muhammadan fleets off Diu in the peninsula of Kathia- 
Wc'ir. But the fame of the victory was sullied by the brutal 
cruelty of Almeida, who put all his prisoners to death. Almeida 
perished afterwards on the African coast, and the great and 
chivalrous Albuquerque succeeded him in 1510. 

Albuquerque took possession of Goa, with the beauty of 
whose port and island he was greatly impressed, from Ibrahim 
Adil Shah of Bijapur. For a short time, in 151 1, it was again 
held by Bijapur troops, but Albuquerque speedily attacked 
them, and in spite of a brave defence took the city with a loss 
of 6,000 men to the garrison. Goa was declared the capital 
of Portuguese India, a title which it still preserves. From 
this time till 1515 the great viceroy was actively employed 
against Malacca, Pegu, Aden, Ormuz, and Diu. A fort 
was built at Ormuz in 151 1-, and the Portuguese power re- 
cognised by the king of Persia. But the work which Albu- 
querque did for his country was ill-rewarded, and before his 
death in 1515 he was superseded by his avowed rival Soarez ; 
a treatment similar to that which the founders of the French 
empire in India commonly met with, while the services of 
English soldiers and statesmen in the East have almost always 
received a noble recognition from their country. But before 
he died he left affairs in India in so firm a condition that, as 
he said, they could speak on his behalf with more eloquence 
than any words of his. He had in a wonderfully brief time 
accomplished the object of his mission. He had swept the 
Muhammadan trade from the seas, and the European empo- 
rium for the riches of the East w^as no longer at Genoa or 
Venice, but at Lisbon. To found a territorial empire was alto- 


gether beyond his aims. He wanted factories, and when 
he took Goa, believing that his proceedings would only be 
hampered by any acquisition of territory, he gave up all except 
the city and the fort to a native ally, Timoja of Kanara. Thus 
the aim and object of the Portuguese was absolutely and entirelv 
selfish. Any idea of responsibility or duty to the inhabitants 
of India was not so much as dreamt of. Nor did it even 
dawn upon them that the commercial interests of the couutrv 
were not necessarily incompatible with their own. A success- 
ful trade meant to them the monopoly of trade, and so, with 
their ledger in one hand and their sword in the other, they set 
to work to burn, plunder, and destroy every vessel that ven- 
tured to compete with them in the Indian seas. Albuquerque 
himself was a chivalrous and honourable gentleman. He was 
guilty of neither cruelty nor deceit, and he was respected as 
well as feared by his enemies. But his successors, though 
they possessed his courage lacked his scruples, and their 
actions present a terrible picture of intolerance, cruelty, and 

With some vicissitudes of fortune the affairs of the Portu- 
guese continued, on the whole, to prosper. Such seaport 
towns as refused to acknowledge their supremacy they bom- 
barded and sacked ; but they protected those that submitted. 
A rich and prosperous city sprang up at Ch:iul, the king of 
Ahmadnagar paying them a yearly tribute for its protection 
by their armies. In 1516 they established a factory there of 
their own. In 1521 they made nn attempt to build a fort at 
Diu, but the Guzarat admiral drove them back to Chaul, 
and his sailors burnt their newly founded settlement. This 
reverse led to the erection of a powerful Portuguese fort- 
ress at Chciul ; but the success of the Guzarat expedition 
was noised abroad, and in the following year an army 


was sent from Bijapur against Goa. Goa could defend 
itself, but the dominions of Timoja, the ally of the Portu- 
guese at Kanara, were annexed to the Adil Shahi kingdom. 

The ease with which his fleet had driven off the Portuguese 
from Diu, encouraged the king of Guzarat to attack their 
settlement at Chaul in 1527. But the Portuguese destroyed 
his ships, and followed up their success by a march by land. 
With the aid of Ahmadnagar troops they made Thana and 
the whole island of Salsette tributary. However, the Guzardt 
troops obtained a temporary success, and Ahmadnagar had 
to acknowledge Guzarat supremacy, and break off its alliance 
with the Portuguese. Three years later Antonio di Silviera 
burnt Damaun, and sacked the rich city of Surat. But it was 
against Diu that the Portuguese efforts were chiefly directed, 
and in 1531 they assembled in the spacious harbour of 
Bombay 400 vessels and 22,000 men, of whom 3,600 were 
Europeans. The expedition failed to effect its object, and 
the Portuguese returned to Goa, sacking many seaports 
on their way. They, however, determined to persevere in their 
attempt to acquire Diu. They obtained the aid of Prince 
Chand of Guzarat, who was in rebellion against his father 
Bahadur Shah. In return for his help they annexed, nomi- 
nally on his behalf, but really on their own, the Northern 
Konkan, including Mumhadewi or Mumbe, which from some 
similarity of sound they transformed into Bombahia, the good 
harbour, or Bombay. Prince Chand's rebellion failed, and 
they then allied themselves to his father and aided him in 
his defence against the Fmperor Humayun, who had invaded 
Guzarat. In return for this assistance the Guzarat ruler 
ceded to them Bassein, and the long-coveted Diu But they 
were not suffered to hold Diu in peace, and in 1537 by order 
of the Sultan of Turkey, an Egyptian fleet was sent to drive 


them out. The garrison made a noble defence durmg the 
eight months that the siege lasted. They underwent the 
utmost miseries, and their condition was almost desperate. At 
last the siege was raised by the arrival of an enormous fleet 
under Juan de Castro, with 1,000 guns and 5,000 men. The 
relieving fleet on its way from Goa and Chaul inflicted wanton 
cruelties on the inhabitants of the coast, massacring without 
distinction men, w^omen, and children. Thousands were sold 
into slavery, and the towns were pillaged and burnt. On his 
return to Goa with his victorious legions the viceroy made a 
triumphal entry into his capital, and the account of its 
magnificence stirred with wonder the citizens of Lisbon. 

But the danger to the kingdoms of Western India from 
Portuguese ascendancy, formidable as it was, was of only a 
partial nature. Their fleets and armies might be conquered, 
their foreign trade destroyed, their sea-coast towns pillaged 
and burnt. But their territories were in no danger of falling 
into the hands of the marauders, who were content with build- 
ing factories and forts upon the coast. But a mighty power 
was now established in the north of India which would spare 
no effort to bring them one and all beneath its iron sway. 

( ^"7 ) 


FIFTH in descent from Taimur the Tartar, himself sprung 
from the race of Jangiz Khan, Babar is generally 
spoken of as a Moghal. But of this race Babar always pro- 
fessed a horror, and it was probably not unmixed Moghal 
blood that flowed in his veins. Practically he was a Turk ; 
his memoirs were written in Turkish, and his army was Tur- 
kish. He was, at an}- rate, not an Aryan, yet both in 
himself and his descendants were exhibited some of the best 
qualities of the Aryans, and a power of gi'owth and civilisation 
of which his ancestors showed not the slightest trace. Babar 
did not hesitate to accept the invitation of the rebellious 
viceroy of the Panjab (pa^e 47). His way was made easy by 
the tyranny of Ibrahim Lodi at Delhi, which was not calcu- 
lated to stimulate the resistance of his subjects to a foreign 
invader under whom their lot could hardly be worse than it 
already was. He advanced upon Delhi; and at the fateful 
field of Panipat Ibrahim was slain and his army utterly 
defeated. Thus in 1526 Babar became the first of the so-called 
Moghal emperors. But his work was not yet completed ; 
and tbough his soldiers thought that they had done enough 
when Delhi was in their hands Babar was not content to 
rest upon his laurels. He encouraged his weary troops to 
march over Bengal and Bahar j and at Sikri he crushed a 
formidable confederacy of Rajput chieftains, who imagined 
that they possessed an opportunity of overthrowing the 


Muhammadan power, and of restoring to its original position 
their own national faith. On his death in 1530 he was suc- 
ceeded by his son Humayun, who lacked his father's genius 
but resembled him in the chequered fortunes of his early career. 
On the accession of Humayun Guzarat was at the height of 
its prosperity, and its king, Bahadur Shah, incurred the anger 
of the emperor by harbouring a political offender. Humayun 
resolved to march against him, and in 1535 in spite of the aid 
of the Portuguese, he utterly defeated the Guzarat army at 
Mandesar. Leaving Guzarat in charge of his brother, Mirza 
Ask4ri, he proceeded against Sher Khan, a powerful Afghan 
feudatory in Bengal. But Sher Khdn's military capacity 
greatly exceeded Humayun's. After two miserably unsuccess- 
ful campaigns, in which his armies were destroyed, the 
emperor became a fugitive ; while his brother Kamraii, who 
was viceroy of the Panjab, ceded that province to Sher Khan, 
and retired to Kabul. 

Humayun fled to Sind and attempted to excite its ruler 
Hussein Arghun to action on his behalf. But his hopes 
of succour were disappointed, and he determined to cross 
the desert to Jodhpur. iVfter extraordinary sufferings he 
arrived there with a scanty band of followers. He found 
the Uaja hostile to him, and was compelled to resume 
his wanderings in the desert between Jodhpur and the 
Indus, The miseries and privations of the march exceeded 
anything that he had before experienced. His route lay 
through a tract of burning sand with hardly a tree to give 
shelter from the furious sun ; and the few wells were in the 
hands of hereditary robbers and marauders. After many weary 
marches his small party found themselves pursued by the 
Jodhpur cavalry under the son of the Raja who cut oif access 
to water or food. But when all hope was lost the prince 


relented, and after reproaching Humayun with what he chose 
to call the wantonness of his invasion, gave him food and water 
and let him go. At length with his wife and only seven fol- 
lowers he reached Umarkot in Sind, where in 1542 was born 
his illustrious son Akbar. Humayun attempted once more to 
make himself m?\ster of Sind, but in 1543 he was compelled 
to return to Kandah ir and give up for a time all hopes of 
recovering his power in India. 

Meanwhile, for five years his successful rival Sher Shah 
Sur ruled India firmly and well. But in the short space of 
ten years after his death the Afghan dynasty came to an end 
in scenes of wild confusion and anarchy. Welcoming the 
opportunity the emperor Humiyun advanced in triumph from 
Kabul, which he had already recovered from his brother 
Kamr/iU ; and a decisive battle at Sirhind in which his son 
Akbar fought in the thickest of the fight, placed him in firm 
possession of Delhi and Agra. Thus, after an exile of fifteen 
years and extraordinary vicissitudes of fortune, Humayun 
firmly re-established the most glorious and enduring of all 
eastern empires in India. But he was not to live long in the 
enjoyment of his prosperity. In 1556 he perished by an 
accidental fall over the parapet of his library at Delhi ; and 
Akbar became emperor of Hindustan. In memory of his 
father x\kbar built at Delhi the stately marble tomb from 
which three hundred years later, during the great mutiny, 
the last of the house of Babar was dragged out as a prisoner 
of the British Government, and in the precincts of which his 
two sons were shot. 

Meanwhile, since the relief of the siege of Diu, the success 
of the Portuguese had steadily increased. Subsequent attacks 
upon Diu by Mdhmud Shcih of Guzarat were repulsed with 
heavy loss to his armies. In 1553 the brother of Ibrahim 


Adil Shah of Bijapur took refuge at Goa, and the king 
oiFered the Portuguese viceroy both territory and money if he 
would give him up. Far from acceding to this request the 
Portuguese gave the prince an army to fight against the king, 
and the force took possession of the Phunda Ghat, or pass, 
over the mountains, on the way from Goa to the Deccan. 
Here however the intervention ceased. The Portuguese 
seemed to have a political objection to interference in the 
continent of India ; and afterwards, as before, they limited their 
operations to the coast. Along the sea they had now a series 
of factories and defences with here and there, as at Goa, Chaul, 
and Bassein, splendid cities where the remains of stately fabrics 
still attest the grandeur that once existed. In revenge for the 
aid afforded to his brother, the king of Bijapur sent an army 
against Goa. It was unsuccessful, but in 1570 a powerful 
combination was formed against the Portuguese by Bijdpur, 
Ahmadnagar and Kalikat, whose immense forces hurled them- 
selves in vain upon Goa and Chaul. The gallant defence 
of the Portuguese inspired the Deccan kings with respect, 
and peace was made on favourable terms. During the latter 
half of this century the Portuguese were at the height of their 
success. They steadily avoided the acquisition of territorial 
or political influence, although they had admirable oppor- 
tunities of both, alike in Guzarat and in the Deccan. But as a 
maritime and trading power they attained a supremacy which 
beat all local rivalry out of the field, and was only to fall 
before stronger powers from Europe. They were detested 
by the native races for their vindictiveness and avarice ; 
and the execrable cruelty of the inquisition established at 
Goa for the propagation of peace on earth and goodwill 
towards men heightens the dark colouring of the glowing 
picture. Conversions were made by force, and the great 


missionary Xavier baptised people by the thousand, just in the 
same way that the Muhammadans brought the erring Hindus 
into their fold, whether they would or not. The baptismal 
ceremony was all-sufficient to render the neophyte a member 
of the Church, and any mental change or process was 
regarded as superfluous. The gates of caste were of course 
closed on all who, however reluctantly, submitted to the 
ceremony ; and on the Western Coast of India there are many 
descendants of the converts of Xavier who have Portuguese 
names and some vague and distorted notions of legendary 
Christianity, but to all intents and purposes are Hindus. 

When Akbar came to the throne in 1556 he was only 
thirteen years old. At the battle of Sirhind he had dis- 
played undaunted courage, but there was at that time little 
apparent likelihood that he would have the ability to win 
for himself a real control over his nominal empire. He had 
from the first to contend with armies which were altogether 
out of proportion to those which he could put into the 
field. The usurping Sur dynasty though fallen, had yet 
to be subdued ; the Rcijputs and Hindus in Central India 
had no inclination to submit ; the Pathans in Kdbul and 
Kandahar were restless and mutinous. Towards Bombay, 
Guzarat alone had ever been under the Moghal sway, and 
for more than two centuries the Muhammadan States of the 
Deccan had owned no allegiance to Delhi. Thus in the 
consolidation of the Muhammadan power in India, Akbar had 
a great task to accomplish, and many years passed by 
before he could give his attention to the kingdoms of 
Western India. It was not till 1571 that he was able to 
march upon Ahmadabad to bring GuzarAt under his control. 

At Sirhind Akbar had fought under the guidance of his 
guardian Bah ram Khan. Bahram possessed remarkable 


talents as a military leader. On conning to the throne Akbar 
made him his chief minister, both for civil and military 
affairs. The troops of Muhammad Sur Adite, the last of the 
Sur dynasty, under Hemu, his active Hindu minister, 
marched upon Delhi and Agra ; and Akbar set out to meet 
them from Amballa, a city in the northern part of the 
Panjab. He had 20,000 men, with which to meet 100,000 
Pathans under Hemu. Nearly all Akbar's officers counselled 
retreat. But at the advice of Bahram Khan, Akbar determined 
to fight, and Panipat, the scene of many battles before and 
since, saw another complete triumph of the Moghal arms. 
Hemu was brought as a captive into the presence of the 
emperor ; and Bahram Khan bade Akbar slay the infidel 
with his own hand and so attain the title of Ghazi, or 
Defender of the Faith. The boy burst into tears and would 
do no more than lightly touch the head of the captive with 
his sword. But the minister had no wish to let Hemu escape 
to bring another army against his master, and himself smote 
off the prisoner's head. So perished the first Hindu who 
by clearness of judgment and devotion to his master's cause 
had risen to distinction amongst Muhammadans. Akbar 
entered Delhi in triumph and ascended his father's throne ; 
and after crushing a rebellion in the Panjclb found himself in 
1557 undisputed possessor of the whole of North-Western 

As the emperor grew older the responsibilities that he had 
to deal with rapidly developed the strength and decision of 
his character, and by the time that he was eighteen he was 
able to rule by himself. The invaluable services of Bahram 
Khcin could not atone for the intolerable presumption that he 
dis})layed, and Akbar was deeply offended by his acts of gross 
heartlessness. With wise tact and delicate gracefulness Akbar 


i3ent him a message telling him that thus far he had been 
occupied m education, but that it was now his intention to 
govern his people according to his own judgment. He advised 
his well-wisher to give up worldly affairs and spend the rest of 
his days in prayer at Mecca. Bahr/.m started on his pilgrimage, 
but on the way abandoned his peaceful intentions and 
raised a rebellion against Akbar. He was unsuccessful, and 
he besought the emperor to forgive him, and Akbar restored 
him to his former honours. After a time he once more started 
for Mecca, but was murdered in Guzarat. 

It has been said that the Moghal empire at its com- 
mencement was weaker than those that preceded it. Akbar 
had smallerarmies than earlier conquerors, and their discipHne 
was exceedingly lax. His generals on gaining victories 
acted not as if they were officers but rather as inde- 
pendent chiefs. xVkbar had a way of his own in dealing 
with them, and he generally managed to obtain their sub- 
mission without punishment or reproofs, but by the soft 
answer that turneth away wrath. His whole policy was at 
first incomprehensible, both to Muhammadans and Hindus; 
and though when necessary he could deal a prompt and 
crushing blow upon open rebellion, he preferred to gain his 
ends by conciliation rather than by brute force His mar- 
riage with a Rajput princess pointed out the object which he 
had in view. The dream of his life was to fuse into one 
nation the Hindus and Muhammadans of India. The sub- 
version of Hindu chiefs was followed almost invariably by 
their enrolment as nobles of his court, and this generally had 
the effect of bringing about their co-operation with his policy. 
By these means, in a few rapid campaigns, he extended his 
dominions to Milwa, and the frontiers of Khandesh and the 
Deccan. But the obstinate defence of the Hindu stronghold of 


Chittur in 1567 by the Rjijput clans, rendered a different 
treatment inevitable. Desperate at the loss of their leader 
the Rajputs slew their women and children, and burnt them 
with his body ; and on the storming of the fortress they one 
and all perished, rejecting all offers of quarter. 

Rajputana brought into submission the emperor marched 
upon Ahmadcibad ; Mozaffar Shah made his allegiance 
and was enrolled as a noble of the empire. In quelling 
some resistance to the imperial armies in Guzardt, Rajput 
chiefs fought side by side in the fray with Akbar's Muhamma- 
dan commanders. Returning to the Panjab the emperor had 
scarcely reached Agra when he heard that Guzariit had 
risen against him. The rainy season which generally puts a 
stop to all military operations in India had set in, but he 
made a rapid march, doing the last 450 miles in nine days. 
With reckless courage he led his troops in person against the 
insurgent forces, and Guzarat was again in his hands. A few 
years later Mozaffar Shah the ex- king of Guzarat rebelled, 
but after some protracted operations the imperial general 
completely defeated him and his ally the chief of Junagahr, 
in 1584. Mozaffar Shah lived for a few years in exile and 
perished by his own hand. 

About this period the attention of Akbar was drawn to 
the political state of the Deccan by refugees from the state 
of Ahmadnagar. By this time not only were the Deccan 
monarchies in a chronic state of warfare with each other, 
but the very foundations of their existence were rotting 
away under the influence of internal dissensions. Ahmad- 
nagar in particular was well-nigh rent asunder by the con- 
tests of two parties, one headed by a Hindu, the other by 
Abyssinian nobles who were related to the wives of the 
Nizam Shahi kings. Refugees of the Hindu faction were 


the first to call upon Akbar to move on their behalf ; and 
some of them lived long enough to rue the day that they had 
adopted that course. The state of the Deccan was in every 
way favourable to a general who might wish to bring it 
under his power. The Portuguese had thrown away an 
unrivalled opportunity of founding an empire, but Akbar 
had widely diiferent views as to the expediency of extending 
his dominions. In 1590 he sent ambassadors to each of the 
Deccan kings with demands that they should acknowledge 
his supremacy. His arms were for the time being occupied 
in other places among which was Kabul. It is noteworthy 
that no Hindu of any caste then objected to cross the Indus 
and serve in the Afghan mountains, although in after years 
sepoys of the British army pretended that they had lost 
caste by proceeding beyond Atak. Akbar's empire was 
steadily increasing- In 1590 his general captured Junagahr, 
and the rest of Kathiawar submitted. In Sind the Arghun 
dynasty had been succeeded by one of Persian extraction. 
There was, as a matter of course, a series of dissensions in 
the family ; but the harbouring of malcontents gave to the 
officers of Akbar a pretext for interference which may or may 
not have been in truth a necessity. Sind was attacked both 
from the sea and from the Panjab. Its prince was, in 1592, 
induced to submit, and he was thereupon enrolled amongst 
the imperial nobility. In the same year Burhan Nizam 
Shah of Ahmadnagar made a furious attack upon Chaul, 
but the results were disastrous to himself. His commander 
Farhad Khan was made prisoner, 75 pieces of cannon 
taken, and a loss of 12,000 men is acknowledged by the 
Muhammadan historian. 

Akbar had now, in 1593, ruled for thirty-seven years- His 
empire included Kabul, Kandahar and the whole of Hindustan 


with Sind and Guzarat. On the East of India, Oudh, 
Bengal and Orissa owned his sway. The Rajputs too, though 
under their own chiefs, were mostly connected with the em- 
pire by marriage, and were thoroughly loyal to it. But the 
ambition of Akbar was deeply mortified at the return of his 
envoys from the Deccan with the news that each of the kings 
evaded or refused his demands ; and he ordered an army 
southwards to enforce his authority. The army marched 
through Malwa and Khandesh, the ruler of which state placed 
his submission in the hands of the general and joined him with 
6,000 horse. At Galna additional forces from Guzarat, under 
Akbar's son Murad, the viceroy of that province, formed a 
junction with the main body, and the united armies marched 
upon Ahmadnagar. 

To women is assigned but a scanty role in the drama of 
Indian history, but every now and then one has stood forth to 
show what splendid deeds her sex is capable of. Such a 
one was Chand Bibi of Ahmadnagar, who now opposed the 
imperial forces. This celebrated lady, who is still the heroine 
of Deccan story and Deccan song, was the daughter of 
Hussein Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar. She had been given in 
marriage with the long disputed fort of Sholapur as her 
slower to Ah Adil Shah of Bijapur, in 1564, in order to 
cement the alhance of those two states which was formed to 
crush the Hindu kingdom of Bijanagar. Her husband died 
in 1579, and Chand Bibi was left as regent on behalf of her 
little son Ibrahim Adil Shdh. In a time of incessant 
turmoil she ruled wisely and well, though she was more than 
once deprived of })ower by rival factions in the state. In 
1584 she returned to Ahmadnagar and took up her abode 
there. This noble queen succeeded in uniting together the 
•discordant factions that raged in the Nizdm Shahi capital ; 


and inspired by her enthusiastic courage they offered a bold 
front to the enemies of Akbar. Chdnd Bibi was the life and 
soul of the defence. With the valour of Joan of Arc she put 
on armour, and sword in hand led the defenders against the foe. 
Again and again the Moghals were beaten back with immense 
loss, and the vast ditch of the fort was filled with dead (1595). 
The crisis was passed and the state for a time saved. Allies 
came up from Bijapur and Golkonda, and prince Murad was 
compelled to withdraw his troops and to be contented with 
the cession of Barar. For a short period indeed it seemed 
that the rival Deccan States were to form a confederacy 
which would drive the Moghals from Western India 
for good and all. On the excuse that prince Murad had 
annexed other districts besides Banir the confederate 
troops of the three states marched to expel the invaders 
from the province. It was, in fact, a national contest for 
supremacy between two Muhammadan races. The battle was 
fought at Supa on the Godawari. After horrible slaughter 
on both sides the Moghals were left in possession of the field, 
but they found themselves too weak to follow up their 
advantage. Murad proceeded to subdue Gawilgahr and 
other forts in Barar, but he died in 1599, having made little 
permanent impression on the troops of the Deccan kings. A 
few more united efforts against the Moghals might have 
changed the history of the Deccan. But party spirit was 
stronger than patriotism. W^ith nothing short of insanity 
the late confederates recommenced their favourite pastime of 
cutting one another's throats, while the enemy collected his 
forces for a final spring upon his victim. The Muhammadan 
kingdoms were doomed, and when the Moghals were 
driven from all but a comparatively small portion of the 
Deccan it was not by them but by the Marathas. 


Dissatisfied with the progress that had been made Akbar 
himself took the field, and Ahmadnagar was a second time 
besieged. The queen defended the fort with her former 
bravery, but treachery was at work and her ungrateful troops 
put her to death. The besiegers pressed the siege with greater 
vigour than ever. Their mines were sprung and the breaches 
stormed and scant mercy was shown to the garrison Having 
taken the fortress the emperor consolidated under one govern- 
ment Ahmadnagar, Barar, and Khandesh. His favourite son 
Daniel was made viceroy and w^edded to the daughter of the 
king of Bijapur. Akbar was not happy in his sons. Murad 
was dead, Daniel died soon after his marriage from excessive 
drinking ; and now his eldest son Silim who was also a 
drunkard raised a rebellion against him in the North of India. 
To quell this Akbar had to leave the Deccan without abso- 
lutely extinguishing the vitality of the Ahmadnagar State. 
The fort was held by the imperial troops, but an Abyssinian 
noble named Malik Ambar, one of those who little better than 
savages in their own country developed in the Deccan into 
soldiers and statesmen, established the capital of the Nizam 
Shahi kingdom at Daolatabad, of which city he had been 
governor. Ostensibly in the name of the young king but 
practically on his own behalf he formed a bulwark against the 
Moghal invaders almost till his death in 1626. This great 
man not only defended the frontier and even for a time re- 
covered the fortress of Ahmadnagar, but he found means to 
reduce the finances of the kingdom to a complete and admir- 
able system. The assessment of the land revenue was made 
fixed instead of fluctuating. At first it was made payable in 
kind, but latterly commuted to a money payment, and the 
amount of assessment was moderate. He abolished revenue 
farming, and appointed Brahmans who were rapidly increas- 


ing in importance to collect the revenue under Muhammadan 
supervision. Altogether the districts under his rule hecame 
thriving and populous. The Golkonda State had suffered less 
from war and schism than its two rivals in the Deccan. In 
1589 the king moved its capital to a healthier site, and built 
the city which is now called Hydarabad, but which he named 
Bhagnagar. Many noble buildings still survive to attest the 
splendour of his reign. But to the South of his kingdom 
there were still a number of petty Hindu States, and Moslem 
rule w^as not firmly established between the Krishna and Cape 

Hastened by grief at the conduct of his sons Akbar's death 
took place in 1605 after a reign of 51 years. His possessions 
in Bombay consisted of Sind, Guzarat including K^thiawar, 
Khandesh, Barar, the fort of Ahmadnagar and some neigh- 
bouring districts. With the Portuguese his troops had not 
come into collision. That nation, unlike those that followed 
it, had refrained from all interference with the new empire, 
except for a short period, when, in order to obtain possession 
of Diu, they assisted the king of Guzarat against Humayun. 
But before the first century of Portuguese conquest was com- 
pleted a new power began to despatch ships from Europe to the 
East. In 1595 two Dutch vessels were sent to the Indian 
Archipelego ; and the naval supremacy of the Portuguese 
was first disputed and then destroyed by the Dutch and 
their successors the English. The first defeat of the Portu- 
guese in Indian waters by an English fleet took place at 
Surat in 1612. 

Thus before the English reached India the greatest of the 
Moghals had passed away. Weaker at the beginning of his 
reign than former Muhamadan rulers, Akbar had brought his 
empire to a pitch of greatness that none of his predecessors 


had attained, No mere ambition for success in battle, na 
mere lust of empire or plunder actuated him ; he had no wish 
to slay his prisoners of war b}^ the thousand to attest his 
greatness, it was no pleasure to him to sell their women and 
children into slavery. Such deeds, on the contrary, were 
absolutely forbidden. Conquered chiefs had no need to fear 
death or torture or forcible conversion to Muhammadanism ; 
they had only to submit and they were sure to be exalted to 
a high position in the imperial nobility. In many cases all 
their possessions were confirmed to them. Akbar anticipated 
the edict of Lord William Bentinck that abolished Sati, only 
permitting it when the widow deliberately chose it herself. 
He allowed the remarriage of widows, and, what the British 
Government has not yet dared to do, he forhade the marriage 
of little children. He abolished the jazia or capitation tax 
that was levied on all Hindus, They were unmolested in the 
ordinary practices of their reUgion ; their priests, temples 
and endowments, were vigilantly protected. Rajput princes 
were numbered among his courtiers and soldiers ; and his 
great finance minister, Todar Mai, whose revenue settlement 
of the country has been maintained as a basis upon which 
the existing system has been built up, was a Hindu. Not 
only were Hindus allowed the exercise of their own faith but 
even the administration of their own laws, and they were 
employed in all branches of the public service except as 
judges. Akbar drew up a code of laws relating to the army, 
justice, police, and general state policy, known as the Ayn 
Akbari. Its ordinances are eminently practical, and in them, 
from beginning to end, justice is tempered with mercy. 

It could not be expected but that Akbar's liberal senti- 
ments and breadth of view should escape opposition from the 
bigoted and intolerant Moslems, who formed his subjects. 

FOUNJ)Ari<)N OF THJ; ' ; i HE. 81 

The very fact that lie could overcome their opposition and 
fcilence the lying charges Avhicli said that he persecuted the 
followers of the prophet makes the picture of his life more 
-wonderful than ever. His perfect tolerance is the more 
admirable when it is remembered that at the same era the 
Christian churches of Europe were burning and torturing all 
whom they deemed to be heretics, and in England and Scot- 
land men and women were being drowned and hanged on 
ridiculous charges of witchcraft. The fact is that Akbar 
was in reality not a Muhammadan. There was no God but 
<jiod, he declared, and Akbar was his calij)h : and as all men 
itre liable to err no creed or ritual pro])ounded by man was 
iiifallible. Akbar was a theist in whose sight all seekers after 
God were of equal worth as long as they sought to live 
righteously and do good to their fellow-men. Whatever may 
be said on behalf of a somewhat vague belief in a benevolent 
])rovidence with but few characteristic points to seize the 
imagination of the multitude, it is (p\ite certain that it is not 
Muhainmadanism. Beautiful as the sy-tcni may have been, 
it began with Akbar, and even he can have hardly hoped 
that it would endure after he had })assed away. On 
his deathbed he repeated the confession of faith and 
died in the forms of a good Mussalniiin. As with his 
religious convictions so it was with his political reforms. They 
were his and his only ; they belonged to the man and not 
to the age. It cannot be reiterated too often that there can 
be nothing permanant in the reforms of a benevolent despot. 
If it is possible to impart a firm and lasting character to 
reforms forced upon a people without reference to their will 
it must be by their belonging to a system and not depending 
upon the idiosyncracies of a single man. The English love of 
law and order which embues generation after generation of 


administrators has given to the inhabitants of India ahnost 
all that was given them by Akbar, only very much more has 
been added. The ranks of the civil service are open to 
Europeans and Natives alike, if only they can pass the 
competitive examination in London ; and if natives cannot 
command British brigades they can rise to be judges in the 
High Courts of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. 

In Akbar' s reign beautiful buildings sprang up in the cities 
of India, and his court was one of the most magnificent in 
the world. In jewels and decorations, in cloth of gold and 
velvet, in the equipage of the camp and the trappings of the 
army, splendour could hardly go further. In ability of 
character, in breadth of view, in genius and ability Akbar 
has few rivals in any country, while in the history of India, 
the great Moghal emperor stands out absolutely unique and 

( 83 ) 


UPON the death of Akbar, his eldest son, Sillm was 
crowned at Agra under the title of Jahangir, or con- 
queror of the world (1605). Gifted with a keen political 
discernment he was able to carry out some useful reforms, 
but the mantle of his father did not fall upon his shoulders. 
He adopted to the letter the orthodox formulas of Islam, 
and the jazia or poll-tax was replaced upon Hindus. The 
love of drink ran strong in his family, Akbar alone having 
withstood the temptation ; and the eifect of the vice upon 
Jahangir was to render him a cruel and sullen tyrant. The 
stern edicts which he issued forbidding the use of wine to 
others were never binding on himself. He w-as capable of 
the most revolting cruelty. His eldest son Khosru rebelled 
against him in the Panjab but was taken prisoner ; and 
Jahangir caused 700 of his followers to be impaled in a line 
from the gate of Liihur. While they were writhing and 
shrieking in their death-agony he had his son placed on an 
elephant and carried down the line. Such was the successor 
of Akbar. The change was indeed startling, and it demon- 
strates the futility of building up reforms unless the rulers 
themselves are subject to the reign of law. 

Jahjingir had reigned three years when there arrived at his 
splendid court at Agra the first representative of the future 
rulers of an empire greater than bis own ; and Captain 
Hawkins, the commander of the first English ship that 
reached India, came from Surat to crave the emperor's per- 
mission to establish a factory at that port. 


The nation which v,ns to surpass all other European 
])eoples in the contest for supremacy in the East was slow- 
to commence its task. The brilliant success that attended 
early Portuguese enterprise was not vouchsafed to it. The 
Portuguese had been lords of the Indian seas for a 
liundred years, and the Dutch had firmly planted their 
footing on the rich islands of the Indian Ocean before the 
first English mariners sailed to the shores of India. A few 
attempts had latterly been made to reach India or China by 
the North-west passage. In striving to make his way to India 
by sailing round Cape Horn Sir Francis Drake's little fleet 
circumnavigated the world for the first time, but never reached 
the country to which it had been sent. His expedition how- 
ever called for remonstrances from Spain against his inter- 
ference with the fancied rights of its flag. But Queen 
Elizabeth stoutly declared that the sea like the air was com- 
nion to all men, and her subjects were free to sail where they 
pleased. Several expeditions were now sent, but owing to 
the mismanagement and want of enterprise of their com- 
manders no success was achieved. One captain named Lan- 
caster managed to reach Ceylon, but his vessel was lost and 
he eventually returned home alone in a French ship. The 
Dutch were altogether more fortunate, and in 1599 several 
rich cargoes were brought to Holland, Three years later the 
various companies which had been engaged in the venture 
united under a single charter. 

A like method was adopted in England. A company was 
embodied by royal charter in 1600, under tne title of *' The 
Governor and Company of the ^lerchants of London trading 
to the East Indies" ; and a letter was drawn up by the Queen 
recommending her subjects to the care of all monarchs and 
peoples whose shores the expedition might visit. Five 

^liips were despatched in 1601 under Lancaster, who y^as 
destined never to reach India. But he obtained a vakiable 
cargo at Sumatra, and added to the wealth thus obtained by 
the capture of a Portuguese ship laden with spices. Queen 
Elizabeth did not live to see his return, but a second expedition 
under Admiral Middleton to Sumatra in 1604 was even more 
successful. The Dutch, however, though they received the new 

: arrivals with friendly greetings, showed unmistakably that they 
meant to keep the monopoly of the spice traffic to themselves. 
However, by collecting their cargoes at other islands the 
English gave no room for interference. The ships returned 
in 1606 without having as yet visited India proper. 

The success of these enterprises led the company to under- 
take a third venture, and early in 1G07 three ships were des- 
patched under David Middleton. The goal aimed at was 
still the spice islands of the Indian Archipelago, but one of 
the ships named the ** Hector," under Captain Hawkins, part- 
ed from her consorts and sailed to Surat. The ** Hector" 

was thus the first English ship to reach India. Hawkins re- 
mained at Surat to make arrangements for future commercial 
operations, but despatched his vessel to Bantam in Sumatra; 
and the three ships reached England with large profit. 
Two vessels despatched from England before their return 
Avere wrecked ; but nothing daunted the company sent an- 

' other expedition to Bantam which resulted in a profit that 
surpassed their highest expectations. They considered it ad- 
visable to strengthen their positions by obtaining from 
James I. a new Charter which confirmed their existing pri- 
vileges. Upon this three ships were despatched under Sir 
Henry Middleton, one of them the '* Trades' Increase" being 
of 1,000 tons burden, a very different vessel from the 
blender craft of the earlier attempts. The ** Trades' Increase" 


had an adventurous voyage. She visited x\den and Mocha,, 
and at the latter port was run ashore hy an Arah pilot, and 
her crew and commander imprisoned. By extraordinary good' 
fortune they obtained their release. The ** Trades' Increase" 
was floated, only for the crew to find a considerable Portu- 
guese fleet waiting to oppose them. Force on this occasion 
was not used ; but Middleton let the Portuguese know that 
their opinion as to their sole right to trade in those waters 
hardly coincided with his own. and that he meant to trade 
where he liked. From the Red Sea he made his way to- 
Surat. However at the Guzarat emporium he found the 
native authorities so impressed with the fear of the Portu- 
guese that for the time being trade was impracticable. He 
therefore followed the advice given him at Surat and sailed 
to Gogo, some miles northward on the Kathiawar coast,, 
where he was less likely to be interfered with. 

He took with him Hawkins, the Captain of the " Hector," 
who had just returned from Agra with an Armenian wife 
bestowed upon him by the emperor. Hawkins had a won- 
derful tale to tell. When he despatched his ship to Bantam 
he speedily found that he would be unable to establish a 
factory or create a trade without the emperor's sanction. 
Taking King James' letter addressed to the Great Moghal he 
adventured on the long journey to Agra, travelling hundreds 
and hundreds of miles where the face of no Englishman liad 
yet been seen. Jahangir received him with every attention and 
courtesy ; he lodged him sumptuously and bestowed on him 
high marks of favour. The emperor showed himself well 
disposed to the stranger who sought his aid, and expressed 
a wish to welcome an ambassador from the Court of London. 
For the present however the imperial permission to trade was 
not granted, but Hawkins went away astounded at the magnifi- 


cence of the court life of Jaliangir and the civihzed nature 
of his rule. What stood in the way of more substantial results 
was the presence at the imperial court of some Portuguese 
Jesuits, who frustrated his efforts to obtain a firman ; and 
even contrived to prevent the payment of a handsome salary 
promised him by the emperor. These narrow-minded priests 
did not even hesitate to attempt the life of a man who was 
interfering with the commercial monopoly of their nation. 
Failing to obtain his object Hawkins, not without considerable 
difficulty, made the long and hazardous journey back to Surat. 

Sir Henry Middleton had been sent to trade by the East India 
Company. This errand he had no intention of leaving un- 
accomplished merely because circumstances stood in the 
way of peaceful commerce by land. He betook himself to the 
mouth of the Red Sea and there seized vessels laden with 
Indian produce. He placed their cargoes on board his ships 
and gave the masters in return the goods that he had brought 
from England, whether the exchange was to their liking or 
not. The result was a rich gain to the Company. About 
this time an English ship sailing up the Eastern coast of 
India found the Dutch established at several native ports by 
permission of the king of Golkonda. The English captain 
managed to plant a small factory at Masulipatam. 

From Sir Henry ^Middleton's voyage the English learnt the 
lesson that in the face of the superior strength of the Portu- 
guese the only way to establish a trade with India was by 
force. Accordingly in 1612 a fleet of four ships fully armed 
made direct for Surat, and were about to open trade, seem- 
ingly, by permission of the local authorities. At that moment 
four Portuguese men-of-war and a convoy of merchant ships 
entered the harbour. Best, the British ('ommander, had a 
fair show of argument on his side; but preferring deeds to 

88 Jll-T.,!., ,,:• TRi: BOMBAY PUESIDENCY. 

words he promptly threw himself upon the Portuguese tiect. 
The Portuguese were utterly defeated. Xo argument is so 
convincing to the Oriental mind as physical force, and the 
effect of this victory was at once apparent. Jahangir con- 
cluded a treaty with the English Mhich gave them permission 
to trade on payment of customs duties at SJ per cent., and to 
establish factories at Surat, Cambay, Gogo and' Ahmadabiid. 
An ambassador from the English court was to be permanently 
resident at the imperial capital. Captain Best received this 
treaty at Surat in February 1613, and the event must be 
regarded as a famous one in the annals of the English in the 
East. They were now firmly established and their desul- 
tory proceedings at an end. 

^leanwhile Jahangir's affairs in the Deccan were not pro- 
gressing satisfactorily. His army had been defeated by IMalik 
Ambar, the great Ahmadnagar general and minister, who ruled 
in the name of a faineant king. The fort of Ahmadnagar 
had been recaptured in IGIO and the emperors troops driven 
back to Burhanpur the capital of Khandesh. The rebellion 
of Jahangir's son Prince Khosru enabled Malik Ambar to con- 
solidate his power, and carry ont his administrative reforms. 
He rallied round him the chiefs of many Maratha families 
which were steadily rising in importanc**, and conferred upon 
them high military positions. He was playing with edged 
tools ; and the Hindu chieftains were not alwnys to use on 
behalf of their Mussalman rulers the high powers with which 
they were entrusted. The emperor sent an additional force 
from Guzarat to assist Khan Jahan Lodi his viceroy in the 
Deccaa in 1612, but the spirited resistance of Malik Ambar 
drove the united armies from his frontiers. 

Jahangir determined to take the field in person against the 
rebels ; aiul in 1616 he appointed his son Prince Kharram 

rr»\]ix(; (If iHi: i:n« rLibii. 89 

^tIio succeeded him as Shah Jahaii, to be commnnder-in-cliicf 
of the Deccan. But before this there had arrived at Agra 
"Sir Thomas Eoe, the Enghsh ambassador from James I. In a 
long residence at Constantino})le Roe had acquired a thorougli 
knowledge of Eastern character and manners; but the 
pomp of the Turkish court had altogether failed to prepare 
him for the magnificence that he beheld at Agra. In accor- 
dance with the Oriental custom by which no one come;^ 
before a monarch empty handed he came provided with gifts. 
But he could hardly smother a feeling of humiliation when 
he placed before the emperor the presents sent from England : 
for all the jewels of the British crown would not compare 
with those which adorned the throne and robes of Jahau- 
gir. Roe, like Hawkins, was admitted to intimacy by 
the emperor, and the diaries kept by him during his 
three years' residence at the Moghal Court give a most 
interesting and valuable picture of the times. Roe left 
nothing undone to promote the interests of his country. He 
induced the emperor to extend the permission to trade to 
the whole of India, and drew up a series of articles regu- 
lating the English traffic, most of which were confirmed by 
the emperor. He was as bold as he was diplomatic, and he 
sent to the Portuguese viceroy at Goa a document which 
considerably enlarged thai potentate's views on the subject of 
^freedom of trade. The viceroy was plainly told that any 
attempt to interfere with the English commerce would inevi- 
tably bring forth war, revenge and bloodshed. The English 
intended nothing but free trade open by tlie law of nations 
to all men. It was not the purpose of the English to root 
out or hinder the trade of the Portuguese ; and it was strange 
that people of that nation should dare to infringe upon the 
free commerce between others. On these liberal views it 


must be confessed that the policy of the great company for 
nearly two centuries forms a startling commentary. 

In 1616 Sir Thomas Roe accompanied the Imperial army 
on its march against the Deccan. The emperor himself 
went no further than the fort of Mandu in Malwa, but his 
proximity infused energy into his commanders. An alliance 
was made with Bijapur, and Malik Ambar was driven out of 
the city and fort of Ahmadnagar. Akbar's conquests were 
for the time re-established, but in 1620 ^lalik Ambar again 
defeated the imperial forces and carried his movements so 
far to the North as the fortress of Mandu itself. Amongst 
the Manithas conspicuous in Malik xAmbar's service was an 
officer named Shahji Bhonsle. His family had risen into 
notice under his father Malloji Bhonsle, who held a 
command of horse in the Ahmadnagar army. Prince 
Shah Jahcin was again sent against Malik Ambar, but it 
required well-nigh the full power of the empire to bring him 
to submission. This was at last done in a general action to 
the north of the Ahmadnagar territory, in which Shahji 
Bhonsle greatly distinguished himself. 

Jahangir died in 1627, a year later than his formidable 
opponent Malik Ambar. That great man was a foreigner, 
and as such regarded with jealousy both in Ahmadnagar and 
Bijapur. Had he been an Indian Muhammadan his admin- 
istrative talent and military genius might have created an 
impregnable barrier against the Moghal forces. But alike 
among Hindus and Muhammad ans in India political union 
has always been shipwrecked by private feuds and party 
feeling. For Jahangir the last year of his life had been 
embittered by struggles between his own sons and the son 
of his beautiful and imperious wife Nur Jahan, by her first 
husband, whom she desired to be proclaimed heir. 

( 91 ) 


SHAH JAHAN surpassed iu magnificence all the former 
emperors of India. He devoted himself to the 
pm'suit of architecture, and it is to him that is due the 
erection at Delhi of some of the most beautiful buildings in 
the world. To Delhi he transferred the seat of Government 
from Agra ; but it was at the latter place that he built in 
memory of his wife Mumtaz ^lahal, the Tjij Mahal, the 
most noble of Indian buildings, alike in its gracefulness and 
simplicity. European travellers spoke Avith marvel of the 
peacock throne, so called from the outspread tail, whose 
colours were wrought in diamonds and rubies and the cost- 
liest of gems. His dominions stretched from Bengal to Persia ; 
and he ruled them with ability and judgment. AA^ithout the 
absolute tolerance of Akbar he was yet free from the narrow 
orthodoxy of Jahangir^ and the fanaticism of Aurangzib, 
Shah Jahan had no liking for Khan Jahan Lodi, the com- 
mander-in-chief of his forces in the Deccan. That officer 
had long been bent on making himself independent. His 
suspicions being aroused by the emperor's treatment of him 
he openly took up arms against his new master with the aid 
of the local Maratha authorities. It had taken immense 
efforts to partially subdue Ahmadnagar. Bijtipur and Gol- 
konda had not yet come imder the empire. Eightly estimat- 
ing the efforts that the union of these powers under Lodi 
might produce, Shah Jahan proceeded to the Deccan in person 


Ill 1629 and directed the policy of the campaign. A hitherto 
staunch adherent of Lodi was Shahji Bhonsle who had suc- 
ceeded to much of the weight and influence of Malik Amhar. 
lie excelled hi the art of knowing when to trim his sails, and 
deeming that Lodi was no match against the emperor now 
that he had himself come to the Deccan he hetook himself to 
Shah Jahtin. On making his submission he received a patent 
of nobility and the coniirmation of his estates. Other Maratha 
chiefs followed his example ; and the immediate result was to 
'Considerably strengthen the cause of the emperor, and pro- 
portionately weaken that of Lodi and those who w^re disposed 
to aid him. The rebellion was quelled and Lodi slain, after 
fighting bravely to the last. 

Lodi had ineifectually besought the aid of Bijapur to resist 
the Moghal encroachments, but the Bijapur king was en- 
grossed in the work of adorning and beautifying his city, and 
he refused to break through the alliance which had been 
made in the time of Akbar. That alliance had been ratified 
during the wars of Malik Ambar; and the Bijapur king had 
entered into a secret treaty with the emperor, by which in 
return for his co-operation against Ahmadnagar he was 
to receive the Konkan territory of that state and the 
fort of Sholcipur. But alarmed at the emperor's occupation 
of the country after his defeat of Lodi, the Bijapur 
king entered upon an offensive and defensive alliance with 
Ahmadnagar again'st Shah Jahan, receiving from that 
state the districts which the emperor had formerly 
engaged to give him. The alliance achieved nothing. The 
Bijapur army was at once defeated, and the city besieged 
by the Moghal forces. The siege was not successful but 
Ahmadnagar was now made over to the emperor by Fattc 
Khan, the son of Malik Ambar, who was confirmed as regent 

IvISE OF THi: MA1LVT11.\<. l'>> 

of tlie state. This disgusted Shahji Blioiisle who joined the 
Bijapur forces against the emperor. Fatte Khan also- 
changed sides and defended himself at Daolatabad, but 
before long he had to surrender, and was again received into 
the Moghal service. The last faineant king of Ahmadnagar^ 
a mere boy, was sent as a state prisoner to Gwjilior, and so in 
1633 the Nizam Shahi kingdom came to an end. But Bijapur 
was unsubdued, and none of the Deccan was really pacified.. 
The emperor was obliged to return to his capital to see after 
the affairs of the Panjab, and in his absence his commanders 
withdrew to Burhanpur. 

Shahji Bhousle was not slow to take advantage of this 
opportunity. He proclaimed another prince as lawful heir to 
the Nizam Shahi kingdom ; and calling himself his guardian 
collected troops, garrisoned the forts, and occupied the 
districts of the late kingdom as far as the sea. This insolence 
could'not be tolerated by Shah Jahiiu. In 1G35 he returned 
to the Deccan. The country was mercilessly plundered ; 
and though a second siege of Bijapur failed, the king had to 
sue for peace. lie was granted favourable terms and enrolled 
as vassal of the empire on payment of about ^€800,000 a 
year, and the forfeiture of a considerable portion of his 
dominions, including Sholapur, Shaji had deserted Lodi 
for Shah Jahan, on thinking that course to be favourable 
to his interest. He left the emperor's ranks when he 
thought himself able to hold his own in an independent 
position. He now determined once more to turn with the 
tide ; his submission was received, and he was re-admitted 
into the imperial service. The Deccan was now for the time 
being fairly settled, and Shah Jahan returned to his capital 
in 1637 leaving his son Aurangzib as viceroy. But Muham- 
madan rule in that part of India rested upon very insecure 


foundations. It was composed of elements ^vl)icll not even 
common interests and a common religion could succeed in 
uniting. On the one side was the emperor of Delhi, amongst 
whose forces contention often ran riot, his own sons striving 
with one another for the mastery. On the other, until the 
recent extinction of the Nizam Shahi kingdom hy Shah 
Jalian, there were the three Muhammadan States of Ahmadna- 
gar, Bij^pur and Golkonda who, it has been seen, only laid 
aside the pleasing occupation of cutting one another's throats 
for occasional union against a common foe. Meanwhile each 
was more and more inclined to pamper the Maratha chieftains 
and soldiery that were ranged under their banners. The 
movement was steadily gaining strength which brought 
Shiwaji the son of Shahji into prominence as a champion 
of the Hindu faith and a Hindu empire, which should smite 
down and drive out of the Deccan its Mussalman rulers, 
emperors, and kings alike. 

Meanwhile English trade was on the whole progressing 
favourably though not without some fluctuations ; and in 1628 
a factory w^as established at Armagur a town on the eastern 
coast of India which is memorable as being the first place 
fortified by the English in the country. At Surat the Dutch 
entered upon a severe competition with the London mer- 
chants. For a time the English commercial supremacy 
Avas eclipsed, but the Company's vigour soon reasserted itself. 
In 1632 important privileges were obtained from the king 
of Persia for trading in the Persian Gulf, and two years 
later under a firmcln from Shah Jahan a factory was opened 
at Pipli near the mouth of the Hughli in Bengal. Less to 
the liking of the Company than the rivalry of the Dutch was 
the competition of a new Company from England. King 
€harles I. did not approve of many of the original Company's 


actions. He charged them with violation of their privileges, 
^nd through under-payment of their servants with conniving 
at a large amount of private trade. The Company, he con- 
tended, had established no permanent forts, and had done 
nothing towards extending the greatness and wealth of the 
•empire. The real truth was that the king sorely needed the 
money which the new Company, under Sir Thomas Corten, 
was prepared to supply. He signed the new charter in 1634, 
and before the representatives of the original Company at 
Surat were informed of the transaction, their rivals were at 
their doors. The time was indeed an ill-chosen one for weaken- 
ing the East India Company. The Dutch and Portuguese 
had just agreed to come to terms and strengthen each other's 
hands. The Corten Company commenced operations brilliantly 
but its success did not last long, and their predecessors had 
undoubtedly the advantage in the struggle. In 1646 Fort 
St. George was founded at Madras to protect a new factory 
that had been established on the Eastern coast. In 1650 the 
English Parliament decided that one Company alone was to 
•carry on the trade ; but an actual settlement was postponed 
by war breaking out with Holland. Three ships were cap- 
tured by the Dutch in the Persian Gulf and the trade of 
Surat was seriously checked. On the conclusion of peace in 
1654 the rival claims of the English and Dutch companies 
were submitted to the arbitration of the Swiss Cantons. 
Decision was given in favour of the English, and they were 
awarded a sum of 5688,000, an amount very much smaller than 
they had claimed. An intense struggle now continued between 
the two EngHsh companies. Finally, under Cromwell, it was 
determined that the Company and the ^' Merchant Adven- 
turers " should form one joint stock company, and the 
amalgamation seems to have been carried out without diffi- 

96 HIS TO R y o i i h i : b o m i ; a y p r e s i d e .n t. y . 

culty. Surat was made the Presidency of Western India 
with control over the Persian Gulf ; while the authority of 
Madras extended over Hughli, Patna, Kasimbazar and 

The submission of Shah Bhonsle was followed by an inter- 
val of peace in the Indian empire of Shah Jahan. He was 
nevertheless engaged in sending expeditions to Kandahar 
and Baikh, but these left him leisure to improve his revenue 
system and general administration. His son Aurangzib, wha 
had been employed with the army in Kandahar was appointed 
viceroy of the Deccan. He made his court at the city which 
Malik Ambar had built near Daolatdbad, and changed its 
name from Kirki to Aurangabad. Under iVurangzib's vice- 
royalty Todar Mai's revenue system was to some extent 
introduced into the Deccan. Shahji meanwhile was permitted 
to leave the direct service of the emperor for that of his vassal 
the king of Bijjipur, and his talents and genius found him 
constant employment. In 1627 there had been born to him 
at Junnar a son named Sliiwaji. He was left at Puna with his 
mother to be brought up under the guardianship of Dadaji 
Konedew. Dadaji was one of those Brahmans whom all 
Marathas of importance retain in their service as writers and 
men of business. This man showed great skill in the manage- 
ment of Slnihji's estates near Puna, most of which were in the 
wild valleys of the Western Ghats. As the boy Shiw^aji grew 
up he made friends with other young Maratha chiefs like him- 
self. Animated with an intense hatred of Muhammadanism he 
and his friends led wild and lawless lives, and issued on plunder- 
ing raids on the rich lands below the Ghats. An inspiration 
seized the young Shiwaji that he might smite the Moslem 
hip and thigh, and bring back the palmy days when the 
children of Bhawiini and ludra possessed the land, and had 


not to bow down beneath a foreign yoke. He scorned to 
learn to read or write, but he attained high skill in all mar- 
tial exercises. He was equally proficient in the use of the 
spear, the sword, and the gun, while like most of his countrymen 
he excelled in horsemanship. He delighted to listen to tales of 
Hindu chivalry that were recited to him out of the Ramayana 
and Mahcibharat. All the religious ideas of a Hindu were 
strongly developed in his nature, and he was rigidly strict in 
all caste ceremonies and observances. His mother was a 
remarkable woman. To her he confided all his aspirations, 
and she worked up his hopes to the highest pitch by telling 
him of revelations which she had received from the goddess 
Bhawani foreshadowing his future greatness as the upheaver 
of the Muhammadan creed. By the death of his guardian, 
Shiwaji became the manager of his father's estates. During 
his life time Dadaji had urged him to give up his schemes 
and faithfully serve Bijapur. On his death-bed he exhorted 
him to achieve independence, and protect Brahmans, kine, 
and cultivators. These dying words were not only an 
encouragement to Shiwaji, but they gave a sanction to his 
designs in the eyes of his followers. From his father's 
estates he gained the means which enabled him to enter 
upon the mission of his life, while he was daily acquiring a 
more and more powerful influence over the wild inhabitants 
of the mountains. Bold and determined as he was he 
saw the need of caution and wariness. By his politeness 
and conciliatory manners he gained the good will of the 
respectable Marathas of Puna ; but his occasional absence 
into the Konkan were followed by rumours of robberies and 
dacoities, and it was whispered that Shahji's son shared the 

Ill his wanderings about the wild highlands where he after- 


wards established himself he not only grew familiar with the 
paths and tracks, but made himself thoroughly acquainted 
with the hill forts. These forts had been easily taken by the 
Muhammadans, and their value being in consequence much 
under-estimated they were generally neglected. Shiwaji saw 
that they could be turned to good account. He managed by 
some means, the particulars of which are not known, to induce 
the kiUidar or governor of Torna, a fort about thirty miles to 
the West of Puna, to give over the place to him. This was in 
1646 when Shiwaji was in his twentieth year. He now sent 
word to the Bijapur authorities of what he had done. He 
undertook to pay for the tract which he had taken a higher 
rent than had been received for it in the ten years that 
it had belonged to Bijapur. No notice was taken of his 
request, and he proceeded to strengthen and repair Torna. 
While busied with this task he discovered in the fort a 
hoard of gold which he attributed to a miracle worked on 
his behalf by the goddess Bhawani. This enabled him to 
purchase arms and ammunition and to build another fort 
near Torna which he named Rajgahr or the royal fort. 
Both of them are situated in what is now the Bhor State or 
Pant Sachiw's territory. The attention of the Bijapur 
Government was at last attracted. References were made 
to Shahji, who replied that doubtless his son was working 
for the improvement of the estates which he held under 

Shiwaji next proceeded to win over to his views the Hindu 
officer in charge of the fort of Chakan, and by a large bribe 
he secured the important fort near Puna to which he gave or 
restored the name of Singahr (Shiwagahr) or the lion's den. 
For his father's estates he was bound to pay revenues to 
Bijapur. By various excuses he contrived to keep them in 


his own hands, and use them for his own purposes. A little 
later by craft and stratagem he occupied Supa, and got 
possession of Purandhar, another important fortress near 
Puna. Hitherto these acquisitions were made without stir 
or bloodshed. Little heed was given to what was being 
done on or about Shahji's estates, while Shahji himself 
was serving in the immediate presence of the Bijapur 
king. And so, without let or hindrance, Shiwaji made for 
himself a splendid base of operations in the fastnesses of 
the Western Ghats. When his progress attracted attention, 
and concealment was no longer possible, he could spring 
out from his strongholds witb a force as irresistible as it was 

Cautious as he was not to strike before he was sure of his 
strength, two years had not passed from his occupation of 
Torna before he was able to show his hand. He had 
kindled such faith in his followers that he ventured to attack 
a large convoy of Government treasure on its way from 
Kalyan to Bijapur, and disperse the escort. He divided 
the treasure amongst his horsemen and conveyed it with all 
speed to Rajgahr. Rightly judging that this open defiance 
could not be disregarded by the Bijapur court, Shiwaji 
at once proceeded to strengthen the position that he had 
taken up. Such was his activity that before the news 
could reach the capital he had made himself master of 
no less than ten forts on the borders of the Deccan and 
in the Konkan. Some of these were held directly by the 
Bijapur Government; others were in the little state of Janjira 
or the island, so called from its fort in the harbour of 
Danda Rajapuri. The early kings of Ahmadnagar had 
established Abyssinians as captains of this part of their 
territories. The appointment became hereditary, the chief 


being commonly known as the Sidi, a vulgar corruption of 
Syad, a term of respect for descendants of the prophet. In 
the ordinary speech of the Deccan Sidi is an equivalent for 
African, and is used in a contemptuous sense. The Sidi of 
Janjira was subsequently appointed to be admiral of the fleet 
of the Moghal empire. 

Shiw^iji's action had been bold, but his next exploit was 
still more daring. He pushed his forces on to Kalyan, took 
the governor prisoner, and obtained the surrender of several 
forts in its neighbourhood. He at once revived ancient 
Hindu institutions. Endowments were made to temples 
and assignments to Brahmans. Two new forts were also 
commenced for the protection of the frontier against the Sidi, 
who was by no means an unformidable neighbour. Incensed 
as the Bijapur Government was at being thus defied by 
Shiwaji the king could not believe that he was acting inde- 
pendently of his father Shahji. The latter was therefore 
seized and imprisoned. Shahji with perfect truth insisted 
that he had nothing whatever to do with his son's achieve- 
ments, and advised the king to reduce him to obedience by 
force. But enraged at what he considered Shahji's obstinacy 
the king placed him in a dungeon in which he was all but 
walled up ; and told him that if he did not shortly procure 
the submission of his son the few remaining bricks would be 
closed. Shiwaji, seemingly with the deliberate intention of 
playing the rival Muhammadan powers one against the other, 
had refrained from any interference with the emperor's terri- 
tory or subjects ; and he now appealed to Shah Jahan against 
his vassal king of Bijapur. With a like notion of making- 
use of this daring young Maratha as a check upon his stiff- 
necked subject. Shah Jahan admitted Shiwaji into his service, 
and obtained the release of his father from the dungeon. 


Shahji however was detained at Bijapur for two years. Dur- 
ing this period Shiwaji was busied with endless schemes, but 
committed few aggressions. But no sooner was Shahji 
allowed to leave the capital and return to his duty in the 
southern districts than he took to his old courses. He 
seized fort after fort, and in 1656 made for himself an 
impregnable stronghold at Pratapgahr, near the heights of 

Aurangzib meanwhile, as viceroy of the Deccan, had been 
waging war against Golkonda, and after sacking Hydarabad 
he forced the king to pay a fine of ^1,000,000 sterling. The 
death of Muhammad Adil Shah of Bijapur, under whose 
reign the city was one of the finest and most populous in 
India, formed sufficient excuse for interference in that quarter. 
Aurangzib chose to say that the selection of a king lay with 
the emperor. The young king Adil Ali Shah offered to pay 
a sum equal to that exacted from Golkonda, but Aurangzib 
determined once for all to annex the kingdom to the 
imperial dominions. The city was invested in 1567, and its 
capture was only a question of time, when a message reached 
Aurangzib of the supposed mortal illness of his father. He 
hurried off to Delhi to secure his succession to the throne 
and quash the clairasof his three brothers. Shujaand Murad, 
in whom the family vice of drunkenness ran riot, assumed 
royal titles. Aurangzib cajoled Murad by promising to help 
him against their eldest brother Dara, a prince who would have 
been a worthy successor to Akbar. Their combined armies 
defeated Dara who was forced to flee. Murad, having been 
;used as a tool, was now put aside, and Shuja's efforts were 
fruitless. On failing to conciliate the emperor, whose ill- 
ness was after all not mortal, Aurangzib seized the throne in 
1658, and kept his father prisoner within the walls of his 


palace until bis death eight years later. Dara and Murad 
were killed and Shuja only escaped to perish in Arrakhan. 
Shah Jahan left no less than ^24,000,000 sterhng in the 
public treasury. He had governed his immense dominions 
wisely and well. The great Deccau kingdom of Bijdpur was 
bound more closely to the empire during his reign than it 
ever had been before. 

Shiwaji had kept a watchful eye on all the movements of 
Aurangzib. On the commencement of the prince's operations 
against Bijapur he entered into correspondence with him. 
Aurangzib listened to his overtures, and consented to his 
retaining what he had wrested from Bijapur. He even 
handed over to Shiwaji the port of Dabul and its dependen- 
cies on the Ratnagiri coast which were directly under the 
government of the emperor. Aurangzib was anxious for an 
interview with the Maratha chief in order to impress upon 
him how closely their interests were allied. But Shiwaji had 
no wish to place himself in an equivocal position, being per- 
fectly well aware that the alliance of their interests would last 
no longer than might seem good to himself. That limit was 
soon reached, and while writing conciliatory letters Shiwaji 
made a raid upon Junnar and carried to Rajgahr revenue 
collections of the Moghal Government worth ^'120,000. 
The principle that money is the sinews of war was a maxim 
that he invariably recognised. But the army of Aurangzib 
obtained unexpected success at Bijapur, and Shiwaji thought it 
better to temporise. He wrote in a humble strain begging for 
forgiveness for what was past ; and when Aurangzib journeyed 
northwards on the news of his father's illness he offered to pro- 
tect the imperial dominions during his absence. At the same time 
he pressed his claims to some hereditary estates in the Moghal 
districts, and solicited the imperial sanction to the transfer 


of all the Konkan to himself. Aurangzib had no wish that his 
troops should risk a collision with Shiwaji during his own 
absence. He judged it best for the time to comply with his 
arrogant demands, and even deemed it good policy to 
encourage the Maratha upstart at the expense of Muhammadan 
vassals. The result showed how fatal was the mistake of 
allowing an avowed enemy of Islam to consolidate his power^ 
as a means by which the more eifectually to bring Bijapur 
and Golkonda beneath the Impeiial sway. 

( 104 ) 


AURANGZIB was forty years old when he dethroned his 
xV father and became emperor under the title of Alamgir, 
and he was to reign like Akbar for half a century (1658-1707). 
Both were indefatigable workers, both were prompt in action, 
and both to a certain extent skilful in dealing with emergen- 
cies. But x4Lurangzib had none of his illustrious ancestor's 
love of righteousness and breadth of sympathy. A bigoted 
and intolerant follower of the prophet, he has been described 
as a Puritan Muhammadan monarch. The toleration of Akbar 
had ended with his life. But it had left a kind of contemp- 
tuous half-belief in the state religion among those who carried 
out its ceremonies to the letter. A period of immorality and 
licence had sprung up at the court. The great object of 
Aurangzib's life was to crash this infidelity and licence, to 
bring Hindus down to their proper level and to subdue the 
heretical Muhammadan kingdoms of the Deccan. Aurang- 
zib was a Sunni or orthodox Muhammadan ; the Deccan kings 
supported the Shia heresy which refused to recognise as 
caliphs the first three followers of the prophet who had 
assumed that title. 

Aurangzib loved to enter into the minutest details of 
his administration. He was fascinated by the individual 
features of the work of government. He could not throw 
his gaze over the vast surface of his empire so as to ob- 
tain one comprehensive view of the political horizon. His 
method of rule in Hindustan is not within our consideration 


lieve. But his whole history in the West of India with regard 
to the Mar^thas and the Mussalman kingdoms of the Deccan 
cannot but fill us with amazement at the praise that has 
been bestowed on his ability and administration. Daring as 
he was his boldness was exceeded by his hypocrisy. To 
•advance his ambitious aims no dissimulation was too low to 
stoop to. He strove to build up a reputation for wisdom ; 
and his successful usurpation of the throne, his close atten- 
tion to business, the simplicity of his personal habits amidst 
a court of unparalleled splendour, and the extent of his 
scholastic attainments sufficed to obtain it for him. That 
he lacked the affection which Akbar felt for all his subjects 
is not wonderful ; his failure to see that the strongest 
foundation which his empire could rest upon would be a 
fusion of all alike into one nationality makes the wisdom of 
Akbar stand out in yet more vivid relief. In Bijapur and 
Golkonda he possessed powerful bulwarks which a wise 
statesmanship might have incorporated into the empire, and 
bound to it by as warm ties of devotion and interest as those 
which hold the modern princes of India in allegiance to 
^Queen Victoria. 

In most parts of his dominions he smote with an iron rod 
those who were not followers of the Prophet. The capitation 
tax on all infidels was stringently collected, and a mass of 
clamorous petitioners for exemption from the impost were 
trampled to death by his elephants. Customs duties for 
Hindus were twofold what they were for Muhammadans, and 
Hindus were excluded from all public offices except a few 
^military posts. Far from desiring to be a benefactor of mankind, 
Aurangzib's wish was to establish his title as a Muhammadan 
saint. Akbar had allied himself to the Rajputs, and Aurangzib 
had Rajput blood in his veins. But Aurangzib treated this 


race as enemies of his faith, and goaded them into a rebellion,, 
which was put down with all the ferocity of Islam . The country 
was laid waste, the men slain, the women and children made 
slaves. And yet in spite of this mischievous and intolerant 
bigotry such was his suspicion of the Muhammadan kings in the 
Deccan who would not bow their heads to the Moghal yoke that 
he encouraged the rise of the bitterest foe of his and their 
mutual faith in order to weaken the powers that he should have 
cherished as the buttresses of his empire. His eyes were partially 
opened when the mischief was done. But even then, emergent 
as the crisis was, such was his suspicion and obstinacy that he 
would not trust his generals with sufficient forces to quell 
the Maratha power whose growth his policy had stimulated. 
And at the end, when he himself came to the Deccan for his 
final efforts at its subj ugation, his armies were hampered by 
their unheard-of pomp and gorgeous equipment, and his 
treasury exhausted in fruitless display. 

When Aurangzib went off from the Deccan to seize the 
throne at Delhi, Shiwaji promptly went on with his system of 
conquest. One of his expeditions met with unexpected 
failure, and an army that he despatched under his Peshwa or 
chief officer against the little African State of Janjira 
was signally defeated by the Sidi's forces. Every exertion 
was used to repair the disaster ; and an event shortly occurred 
which raised Shiwaji' s power to the highest pitch. Attracted 
to his doings in the Konkan and on the Ghats the Bijapur 
Government, putting aside for a time its endless internal 
distractions, became sensible of the necessity of subduing the 
marauder. A splendid army was despatched against him under 
Afzul Khan, an officer of high rank, who proudly vaunted 
that he would soon return to his sovereign with the insignifi- 
cant rebel in chains. 


Shiwaji had no intention of risking a battle in the open 
field. He took up his position at Pratapgahr, and sent 
pretended offers of submission to the Bijapur commander. 
Afzul Khan, notwithstanding his contempt for his enemy, 
was fully aware of the natural difficulties of the country. 
Halting at Wai he despatched a trusted Brahman named 
Pantoji Gopinath to receive Shiwaji's submission. Shiwaji 
gave the Brahman an honourable reception, but assigned 
him quarters apart from his suite. Secretly in the night 
he went to him and represented that all that he had done 
was on behalf of the Hindu faith. It was Bhawani herself 
at whose bidding he was making war against the enemies of 
their religion, the violaters of their temples and gods. It 
was his mission to free his countrymen from their yoke and 
to give protection to kine and Brahmans. It was therefore 
Pantoji's duty to assist him in the divine work. He seconded 
these arguments with costly gifts, and the Brahman could not 
resist the appeal. 

In order to accomplish their design the false envoy now sent 
messages to Afzul Khan that Shiwaji was in fear for his 
safety at the hands of the Bijapur army, but that the per- 
sonal assurances of the Khan would induce him to surrender. 
With blind confidence the vain-glorious general took the 
bait. He led his army into the mountains and walked into 
the trap that Shi^vaji had prepared for him. Shiwaji made 
ready for the accomplishment of his purpose as though 
the deed that he proposed to do was the most sacred act of 
patriotism. He solemnly performed his religious obser- 
vances, and laid his head at his mother's feet to receive 
her special blessing on his righteous deed. Under his 
turban he placed a steel cap, he put on chain armour beneath 
his cotton gown, and concealed a crooked dagger in his 


right sleeve. On the fingers of his left hand he fixed a 
favourite Marathi weapon known as a '\vagnak or tiger's 
claws. His guest was introduced to him. In the midst of 
the customary embrace Shiwaji stuck the wagnak into his 
bowels and followed up the blow with his dagger. It was the 
work of a moment. Afzul Khan's head was severed from his 
body, and preconcerted signals were given upon which 
Shiwaji's troops started up from the dense vegetation in 
which they had been lying in ambush. They mowed down in 
hundreds the Bijapur soldiers, who never suspected the 
presence of an enemy, and who had not time to mount their 
horses or stand to their arms. 

The rout of the Bijapur army and the capture of its 
valuable camp and siege train greatly raised Shiwaji's fame. 
His subsequent career was by no means unchequered, but he 
may be fairly said from this date to have created the Maratha 
nation. He had dealt a deadly blow at Muhammadan 
power, Delhi and Bijapur alike, and the year of the victory, 
1659, is an important date. Almost exactly a hundred years 
later the battle of Plassey forms another memorable epoch in 
Indian history. Plassey established as rulers the merchants 
who for so long had barely sustained a struggle for existence 
on the sea-coast ; and just a hundred years after that the 
rule of the Company ended in the thunderstorm of the great 
mutiny only to spring into new life in the mightier rule of 
the British Crown. 

The Bij;ipur king now took the field in person against 
ShiwJiji and besieged him at Panalla, a strong fort twelve 
miles from Kolhapur, which the wily Maratha had secured by 
corrupting its Bijapur commander. Shiwaji escaped from 
Panalla, and left the king's army to wear itself out in in- 
effectual efforts to come up with him, while he occupied 


himself with plundering and robbing right and left. Early 
in 1661 he appeared before Raj a pur on the Ratnagiri coast, 
plundered the English factory, and imprisoned for several 
years some of the merchants on the excuse that they had 
assisted the Bijapur troops against him. Some of his forts 
were taken by the Bijapur army, but he built new ones, 
especially near the sea. Observing too the great advantage 
that the Sidi of Janjira gained from his ships he proceeded 
to establish a fleet of his own, while he obtained guns and 
military stores from the Portuguese on condition of leaving 
them unmolested. The demand it need hardly be said was 
frequently renewed. 

About this period Shiwaji received a visit from his father 
Shahji, who was still in the Bijapur service. Shiwaji treated 
him with profound respect and high distinction. He sent 
him back to Bijapur with presents for the king, and by his 
intervention secured an amnesty from the state. The amnesty 
lasted till Shahji's death in 1664, and was then not broken 
by Shiwaji. It was probably at the suggestion of Shahji 
that Shiwaji at this time moved his head-quarters from 
Rajgahr to an impregnable position at Rairi, nearer the sea, 
in what is now the Kolaba district. He changed its name to 
Raygahr, or the regal fortress, and erected upon it a complete 
set of public buildings. Shiwaji now possessed a compact 
territory with a coast line extending 160 miles from Kalyan 
to Goa, and a breadth of 100 miles. His army was a formid- 
able one of some 50,000 foot and 7,000 horse, and his truce 
with Bijapur enabled him to use it against the Moghals. 

The English all this time were steadily improving their 
position, and a new charter granted them by Charles II. in 
addition to extending their trading privileges gave them 
important political and judicial authority. They were 


empowered to choose their own governors, and to administer 
British laws within their settlements. They were allowed 
to make war with any power not Christian — a proviso 
lionoured in the letter rather than in the spirit — to build 
fortifications, and to suppress the trade of interlopers or 
unauthorised persons. This greatly raised the status of 
the Company's settlement at Surat. But a city that was to 
.become the second city of the British empire when the 
greatness of Surat was well-nigh forgotten was now to come 
into the Company's hands. In 1661, by the marriage treaty 
of Charles II. with Catharine of Braganza, the princess of 
Portugal, the island of Bombay w'as ceded to the British 
<3rown. The British engaged in return to defend and 
protect the subjects of the King of Portugal in those parts 
from the power and invasion of the States of the United 
Provinces. An expedition was sent to take possession of the 
island in 1662 under the Earl of Marlborough. The Earl 
was instructed to convey the Viceroy of Goa from Lisbon to 
India, and from him to receive the island in possession. 
He was also directed *• to make the most exact observations 
he could of all advantages which may be secured to His 
Majesty or his subjects in those parts where he should go, 
either by treaties with the several Princes of those countries, 
or by planting of spices in any places wdiich may be or shall 
be in the king's possession, and of the means of advancing 
trade and securing navigation in those parts." But owing to 
a claim to the islands near Bombay which were not speci- 
fically named in the concession negociations ensued. The 
Earl returned to England for instructions, leaving his 
troops, 500 in number, under the command of Sir Abraham 
Shipman, on the pestilential island of Anjidiwa near Goa. 
Sir Abraham and most of his men perished from the 


•climate. However, in 1664 Mr. Cooke, his Secretary, signed 
a convention accepting Bombay alone, and the island was 
taken possession of by the crown. Charles II. protested 
against the action of the Portuguese, and demanded the 
islands and 5^100,000 compensation for the loss suffered 
by the expedition, but nothing came of the remonstrance. 
Four years later Bombay was transferred to the Company 
with all the powers of local government. The Company 
undertook to pay the crown ^10 a year rent for the island, 
and "all persons born in Bombay were to be accounted 
natural subjects of England." Excepting its magnificent 
position, which was however greatly reduced in value by the 
separation of the neighbouring islands of Colaba (now joined 
to Bombay), Karanja (now mainland), Salsette and Elephanta 
from its rule, there was little but a few native fishing villages 
and some small and crumbling Portuguese forts to be taken over 
by the English. But the fortifications were enlarged and prac- 
tically rebuilt; and, while Aurangzib was massacring Rajputs, 
Shiwdji slaying Muhammadans, and the Portuguese allowing 
none but Christians to sleep within the walls of Bassein, Chaul 
and Goa, a wise policy of religious toleration, freedom of trade 
and encouragment of native industry, attracted to Bombay 
persons of all nations. A cosmopolitan population of Euro- 
peans, Parsis, Muhammadans and Hindus of all castes rapidly 
sprang up ; each enjoying their own rites and customs and not 
interfering with each other. Its beautiful and spacious 
harbour, defended by the powerful fort built for its protection, 
soon made Bombay a centre of trade. And in spite of attacks 
from the Moghal, the Dutch, the Sidi, from Maratha and 
even from English pirates, and a climate whose virulence 
rested chiefly on an absolute ignorance of sanitary principles, 
its prosperity steadily increased^ 


But for the time Surat was the seat of the English adminis- 
tration, and its wealth formed an attraction to the restless 
Shiwaji. He had been ravaging the Moghal districts in all 
directions, plundering the villages and levying contributions 
from the towns. Once, when camped at Singhar, his fort over- 
looking Puna, a town at this time rising into importance, 
he performed an exploit which his countrymen for long 
after his life-time talked of with delight. With a small band 
of followers he left his fort and slipped into the town, 
unobserved by the Moghal garrison. He made his way to the 
general's house, slew his guard and his son, and before it was 
possible to interrupt him made his way back to Singahr. The 
glare of torches on the fort expressed to the Moghals at Puna 
the bravado and defiance of their enemies. Turning aside for 
a moment from the Moghals the Maratha ruler early in 1664 
assembled an army at Kalyan, giving out that he meant to 
attack the Portuguese and once for all reduce the Sidi. His 
real design was Surat, upon which he made a rapid march. 
He plundered it for six days and conveyed his spoil to Ray- 
gahr. The plunder was great, but would have been greater 
had not the English under the Governor, Sir George Oxenden, 
manfully stood on their defence. Shiwaji had on a pre- 
vious occasion plundered their factory at Rajapur ; but he 
was so impressed by their resistance at Surat that for the 
future he sought to conciliate them, and on a subsequent raid 
upon Surat left their factories unmolested. The emperor, on 
his part, as a mark of his appreciation of their valour, granted 
the English a remission of a great part of his custom, 

Not long after this Shiwaji heard of the death of his father. 
He now assumed the title of Raja, and struck coins in his 
own name. Some months were spent in arranging the affairs 

of his government at Raygalir. But he obtained fresh acces- 
sions of power. His l^eet seized Moghal vessels bound for 
Mecca, and the rich pilgrims had to pay costly ransoms for 
their release. He surprised and plundered Aurangabad 
and Ahmadnagar, and thoroughly defeated a Bijapur army 
sent against him in the Konkan. In fact, as the English 
records of the times state, he seemed to be everywhere and to 
be prepared for every emergency. His success during this 
year was astonishing. He levied exactions from the seaports 
for thiriy miles south of Goa, experiencing scarcely any 
resistance except at Karwar, from which he had barely time to 
exact a contribution (16o4). 

The emperor had no objection to Shiwaji battering to 
pieces his Muhammadau vassals. But the attack on his own 
pilgrim ships roused his indignation. A large army under 
two of his chief generals, one of whom was a Hindu named 
Iliija Jay Singh, was sent to avenge the outrage upon the 
faith and the insult to the empire. A Hindu of the Hindus, 
Shiwaji was a slave to superstition. Warned in a dream by 
the goddess "Bhawdni that he could not prevail against this 
Hindu prince, he entered into negociations with him. 
Shiwaji ceded a large number of the forts to the emperor on 
condition of the rest of his acquisitions being confirmed to 
him as a j-Jghir or estate dependent on the emperor. He 
then joined his forces to the imperial army and fought with 
such valour that he was invited to Aurangzib's court at 
Delhi. He arrived there with his son Sambhaji in March 
16 jG. He looked for a reception in accordance with the 
ideas that he entertained of his own importance. But he felt 
liimself slighted, if iiot insulted by the position assigned to 
him, and even in the emperor's presence he could not 
suppress his resentment at the indignity. He was thereupon 


placed under guard, and kept in confinement for some 
months. He at last contrived to escape, and after extraordi- 
nary adventures reached Raygahr towards the close of the year. 

Shiwiiji rapidly repossessed himself of his relinquished 
forts and of the northern Konkan, and Aurangzib in conse- 
quence recalled his Hindu general, Eaja Jay Singh. The 
Raja died on his road to Delhi. From Bijapur and Golkonda 
Shiwjiji obtained tribute on condition that he abstained from 
enforcing his demands for chauth, or a fourth part of the 
revenue due to Government. At this stage there was 
comparative peace and quiet in the Deccan ; and Shiwaji 
applied himself steadily to the regulation of his army and 
civil government. In each of these branches he showed 
w^onderful skill and ability which reached down to the 
minutest details. His military discipline was excessively 
strict, especially in the forts ; and his troops were punctually 
paid. The judicial system was founded on that of the 
panchayet or village council ; but as compared with the 
revenue department the judicial was of slight importance. 
But though tranquillity existed in the Deccan Shiw'jji w^ould 
not altogether restrain his hands from war. He made some 
attempts, which however were not successful, on Goa, and 
the inpregnable Sidi stronghold at Janjira. The Sidi in his 
need applied for aid to his mw neighbours in Bombay. So 
little value did the English attach to their island that they 
actually suggested to the council at Surat the advisability of 
moving their settlement from Bombay to Janjira. The 
suggestion was treated with the contempt that it deserved. 

From the time of Shiwaji's escape from Delhi, there is no 
doubt that Aurangzib looked with some misgivings upon the 
rise of the Martithas which in his folly he had encouraged. lie 
made several changes among his officers in the Deccan. But 


lie wholly trusted none ; for he had reason to believe that not 
a few of them, including his own son Prince Muazim, were in 
collusion with Shiwaji. There was in truth cause for anxiety. 
The period of inactivity was past and Shiw&ji increased his 
marauding expeditions to an unprecedented extent. In 1672 
he totally defeated in the open field a new army sent against 
liim by the emperor. The army retreated to Aurangabad, 
and but little was attempted by the imperial forces for 
ten years. x\t the end of that time x\uiangzib came to 
command them in person. Shiwj\ji meanwhile was still at war 
with the Portuguese and the Sidi, and frequent engagements 
took place in Bombay harbour. The English deemed it 
prudent both to further strengthen their defences and 
to form a treaty Avitli the Marathas. They endeavoured to 
secure indemnification for past losses at Riijapur and Surat, 
and mutual advantages for the future. But Gerald Aungier, 
the President, a man of great judgement and firmness, refused 
to enter into any agreement with Shiwaji or the Sidi which 
would entangle the infant settlement in their quarrels ; and 
only one not very successful attempt was made to dislodge 
the Maratha fleet from their position near Khanderi (Kenhery) 
Island off the mouth of Bombay harbour. The plunder of 
llubli in Dharwar in 1G73, in which the English factory 
suffered greatly at the hands of the Marathas, increased their 
desire for a definite treaty. Shiw/iji, however, protested that 
in this case his troops had not molested the English. Bom- 
bay was seriously threatened in the same year by a Dutch 
fleet of twenty-two sail, but President Aungier, with the aid of 
some French ships, made such a brave defence that the attack 
was abandoned. 

Aungier was one of the great men who have helped to create 
the fabric of the British Indian Empire. When he had built 


up the fortiiications of Bombay he laid out the town, the first 
street being occupied by silk weavers from the decaying city 
of Chaul. He quelled a mutiny among English soldiers, and 
under the impartial British law the first man to suffer death 
on the island was an Englishman. Seeing the mischief that 
had resulted to the Portuguese by mixed marriages he sent 
home for English wives for his English subjects. He secured 
the lives and property of the Company's servants at Surat 
when a second attack was made by Shiwaji. Bombay 
became an asjdum for the oppressed of all nations, w^here all 
might enjoy the free exercise of their religion. All might 
dispose of their dead with whatever ceremonies they pleased, 
and none of any nation were to be compelled to embrace 
Christianity. He secured for Bombay what was then the 
separate island of Colaba. When confronted with the 
difficulty of governing the motley population that sprang 
up he embraced the system of the panchayet, and upon its 
basis worked up a system of self government. On his death, 
the judgement of the Council at Surat was, that " amid a 
succession of difficulties he preserved the English trade 
for sixteen years." At this time the Company separated 
their officers into four grades, the junior of whom were 
writers whose salary together with board and lodging was 
^*10 per annum after three years' service. They rose to be 
factors, junior merchants, and senior merchants, designations 
which continued to the last. 

Shiwaji had long struck coins and styled himself Raja, but 
he now determined on having a magnificent coronation at his 
capital of Raygahr. On the 6th of June 1674, after many 
solemn rites, the ceremony took place. He openly declared 
his independence ; and assuming the insignia of royalty 
established the date as an era of his dynasty. His aged 


mother lived to see this eyent. The coronation ^vas witnessed 
by Mr. Henry Oxenden, who had been sent from Bombay 
on a mission to Shiwaji for the conclusion of the long- 
wished for treaty. The treaty was signed, and by it 
Shiwaji gave permission to trade all over his dominions on 
an import duty of only 21 per cent.; coins were to pass 
reciprocally and wrecks to be restored. Indemnification was 
promised for the losses at Rajapur, and factoHes were permit- 
ted at several new places. The embassy and the adminis- 
tration of Aungier produced a favourable impression ; the 
immediate successors of that able president, who died in 1676, 
had neither his talents nor his weight. 

Shiwaji continued to hold his power for the remainder of 
his life. The monotonous record of wars and intrigues 
between the emperor, Shiwaji, and Bijapur, lasted with little 
intermission to the end. It is varied by an extraordmary 
expedition that the ever-restless Marjitha chief took to the 
shores of the Bay of Bengal, in which he took Tanjawar 
(Tanjore) ; and by the temporary desertion of his son Sambhaji 
to the !Moghal Sidi. When his fortune was still unclouded 
Shiwaji was taken ill at Baygahr with a painful swelling of 
the knee joint. This caused a high fever, and he died on the 
5th of April 1680 in his fifty-third year. 

If he had not altogether realized the dreams of his mother, 
or literally fulfilled the bidding of Bhawani, he had risen 
from a small landholder to be the monarch of a mighty 
nation which he himself had called into being. He had 
taught his followers the method by which they were finally 
to subdue the ^loghals. Whenever fortune might for a time 
desert them, they were to return to their hills leaving their 
baffled pursuers in despair of finding them. On a favourable 
opportunity they would dash down upon the plains with the 


force of a hurricane. And so, when the hand that framed 
the plans was dust and ashes, the design could bring about 
its own accomplishment. Shiwdji was a born ruler of men. 
All can recognise his w^onderful genius and admire his 
undaunted perseverance. But the world cannot endorse the 
verdict of his nation, who speak of him as an incarnation of 
the deity, setting an example of wisdom, fortitude and piety. 
His ruling passion was a love of money, War to him meant 
plunder ; and on his death at Eaygahr he left several 
millions sterling. 

( no ) 


SAMBHA JI succeeded to his father's throne. He possessed 
to the full Shiwaji's audacity and courage, hut lacked 
iiis discretion. On his succession to power he roused the 
indignation of his followers by wholesale executions of those 
whose personal devotion to himself he doubted. Amongst 
the number of these was the Peshwa or chief minister. 
As in all Indian dynasties, the system of Shiwaji's rule 
was a personal one. During his life he maintained it in its 
integrity ; on his death it melted way. The idea of any 
■constitutional form of government, which should pass down 
unchanged from one ruler to another, is one that is alien 
to Indian soil. Shiwaji had attached the utmost import- 
tince to giving the army regular pa}', and to the maintenance 
of rigid discipline. Under Sambhiiji, instead of pay the 
army appropriated as much plunder as they could lay 
hands on, and discipline was a thing of the past. Shiwaji 
had been the mainsjiring of all Marjitha action, and he was 
feared no less by his countrymen than by his enemies. 
Nothing was done but by his orders. But now the more or 
less independent Maratha chiefs were a law unto themselves, 
and each followed his own devices. Yet it will be seen that 
what looked like weakness became with this singular people 
a source of strength. But the diverse nature of the Maratha 
movements and policy makes it impracticable in a limited 


IflSTOin' OF TR]; -.: - ; IRESIPEXCY. 

space to narrate in detail the history of the period that fol- 
lowed the death of Shiwaji ; nor v.ould it he profitable to- 
give a circumstantial account of all the events of the time. 
The country hecame more and more unsettled. Bitter 
quarrels sprang up between rival Hindu families as to here- 
ditary rights. National patriotism frequently proved weaker 
than self-interest, and there are even instances of one party 
becoming a Muhammadan in order to promote his interests at 
the expense of his adversary. 

Wars went on with the INIarathas and the Sidi, A severe 
naval engagement in which the latter was victorious took place 
in Bombay harbour and the Thana creek. Sambhaji vowed: 
vengeance against the English for refusing him aid ; and he 
made war against the Portuguese at Chaul and Goa. The 
Viceroy at Goa was not inclined to remain on the defensive. 
In 1683 he invaded Sambhaji's territory ; he carried fire and 
sword through defenceless villages, equalling the Marcithas in 
cruelty. Those who were taken prisoners were converted to 
Christianity. TheDeccan was thus in anarchy, and Aurangzib* 
determined on a final effort to reduce to ohedience both the 
wild Marathas and the Mussalnuin kingdoms of Bijapur and 
Golkonda. The emperor was sixty-three years old when he 
set out from his northern capital, which he was never to 
see again. The remaining twenty-seven years of his life were 
to be spent on the march, or in the camp, in a hopeless strug- 
gle to bring the Deccan under his control. 

Notwithstanding some strange vicissitudes, the last quarter 
of a century brought considerable advancement to the English 
in Western India. However in 1683 an extraordinary event 
occurred which might have lost Bombay to the hostile powers 
that surrounded it. The president still liad his head quarters 
at Surat and a deputy resided at Bombay. On account of n 


reduction in pay and allowances there was wide-spread discon- 
tent amongst the servants of the Company at the latter settle- 
ment. While the president, Sir John Child, was at Surat, 
the deputy governor was seized and imprisoned by Captain 
Richard Keigwin, the commander of the troops and a member 
of councih He proclaimed the island the possession of the 
crown and refused obedience to the authority of the Company. 
Keigwin ruled Bombay for the crown fi"om December 1683 to 
November 1G84. He proved himself a bold and determined 
man: he obtained from Sambhaji not only the confirmation of 
the agreement made with his father, but considerable ad- 
ditional privileges. After ruling resolutely and well he surren- 
dered the island to Sir Thomas Grantham on condition of a 
free pardon. Sir Josiah Child was now the head of the Company 
in England, and he originated a new line of policy which was 
carried out by his brother Sir John Child. Of the judicious- 
ness of his first proceedings there can be no doubt whatever. 
From its defenceless position at Surat the Presidency was 
removed to Bombay Avhere the factors could show a bold 
front to any who might molest them. But with little regard 
to the paucity of the means at their disposal, the Childs 
determined upon a spirited foreign policy. A powerful 
expedition was sent from England to Bengal ; and when it 
was heard in Bombay that Hughli had been cannonaded and 
the iMoghal viceroy of Bengal repulsed, Sir John Child 
threw off the mask. The very existence of the English 
depended upon the Great IMoghal. But nevertheless a fleet 
of Moghal vessels in Bombay was seized, and the emperor's 
sacred vessels conveying pilgrims to Mecca captured* 

The result soon showed the folly of this suicidal policy.. 
The English were driven out of Bengal. The factory of Surat 
was seized and the goods found there confiscated. The Sidi 


of Jaiijira, at the emperor's bidding, occupied a portion of 
the isLind of Bombay to the great annoyance and loss of 
the garrison. For nearly a year his troops held Mazagon, 
Siwa (Sion) and Mahim, but they could make no impression 
upon the fort. The English were convinced of their rashness. 
The President of Bombay dispatched two envoys to the 
emperor's camp at Bijapur to sue for peace. Their submis- 
sion was accepted, but to obtain a fresh firman they had to 
pay a sum of jC15,000. The emperor also demanded the 
dismissal of Sir John Child who had created this disturbance, 
but his death occurred before the arrangements were con- 
cluded. The Company had indeed enough to do apart from 
meddling with war. They had to meet severe competition 
from ships of foreign nations ; and rival English traders, 
known as interlopers, caused them considerable embarrass- 
ment. Not content with underselhng the Company in the 
open market the interlopers laid hold of their officers at 
Surat and handed them over to the Mogbal Governor. A 
Scotch Company which had been founded by James I. 
issued licenses for free trade. As a natural consequence 
English markets were glutted with Indian products. The 
home merchants clamoured for high import duties. The 
only way to solve the difficulty was to amalgamate the 
whole of the British traders to India into the *' United East 
India Company.'* This was done in 1702, and a fresh 
charter was granted by Queen Anne. Rivahy had been 
ruining the Company ; union and tbe introduction of fresh 
blood renewed its strength and prosperity. The reverses in 
Bengal were repaired, and in 1G70 Calcutta was founded by 
Job Charnock on the little fishing village of Chutanati. 
Thus the three Presidency towns of modern India are 
entirely of European origin. In Bengal, in 1698, an x\fghan 


noble rebelled against the Moghal viceroy. In the dis- 
turbances that arose the European settlers were told to 
protect themselves. This event greatly raised their position, 
and gave them an unassailable precedent for erecting 
fortifications whenever they liked. Bombay possessed an 
impregnable stronghold and an unrivalled position for trade. 
Its subordinate factories of Surat, Broach, Ahmadabad and 
Suali in Guzirat, and Karwar in Kanara, were all in a 
ilourishing condition. 

But to the merchants, into whose hands his empire was 
eventually to fall, Aurangzib gave but scant heed. It was 
-on the conquest and settlement of the Deccan that his vast 
t^nergies were concentrated. With the flower of his army, 
a vast array of men and horses splendidly armed from all the 
provinces of his dominion, he took up his position at 
Ahmadnagar in 1683. The luxury and magnificence of his 
€amp were almost inconceivable, and formed a remarkable 
contrast with his simple personal habits. But while this 
display was designed to strike awe upon all beholders, its 
extent hindered the movements of the army ; and its 
expense was an insupportable financial burden. Infatuated 
with the belief in his divine mission of conversion and 
conquest the emperor proceeded to excite against himself 
the most intense hostility of the Hindus. He ordered 
the collection of the poll-tax on infidels to be as strictly 
enforced in the Deccan as in the North of his dominions. 
But his designs were in the first place directed to the 
subjugation of the Muhammadan states. i\gainst the 
turbulent Marathas, for whom even yet he entertained a 
•senseless contempt, he neglected the most 'ordinary precau- 
tions. They took advantage of his immoveability, and by a 
rapid movement sacked Broach and Burhanpur. 


Deferring operations against the Marathas the emperor 
moved to Bijapur. In 1686, after a brave defence, the city 
was forced to capitulate. The king was taken prisoner and 
shortly afterwards died, probably poisoned by Aurangzib. 
So ended the brilliant Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur ceased 
to be a capital, and its inhabitants soon deserted it. Its 
lofty walls, domes and minarets might still lead the traveller 
to believe that he was approaching a flourishing city, but 
within there was nothing but ruin and desolation. Now, 
after an interval of two centuries, Bijapur is once more rising ; 
not indeed to its former splendour, but to be the centre of 
a thriving population as the head- quarters of a British district. 
Its beautiful buildings are carefully preserved, and some of 
the most suitable have been converted into courts, offices, and 
dwelling-houses for British officers. And hard by the mighty 
dome of Sultan Mahmud is heard the shriek of the iron 

Within a year Golkonda too fell before the emperor s army, 
and the last of the dynasties that had risen on the ruins of 
the Bahmani kingdom came to an end. But for Aurangzib it 
was one thing to destroy two kingdoms, another to build up 
liis own power. Kebellions of Hindus and Mussalmans 
sprang up in every direction. Had Sambhaji but possessed 
his father's genius he might have swept the Moghal forces 
off the face of the land. But he was wasting his days in 
debauchery and the people attributed his condition to witch- 
craft. In fact, as an organized state, the Maratha power 
appeared coming to au end, and there was thus far some 
colour for the contempt which it inspired in the emperor. 
But the form only was changing, the power was still growing. 
Their military organization might be gone, but their predatory 
habits, their pride in the memory of Shiwaji, their belief in 


the strength of their forts was as strong as ever. Far from 
depending on the existence of any regular or consolidated 
system, their strength absolutely mcreased as the system of 
Shiwaji crumbled a\yay. Their army as a military unit 
might no longer exist, but their operations took new shapes 
no less formidable than the old. It booted little if the 
hydra was deprived of one head ^Yhen it had a thousand 
others ; and a guerilla war arose, in which chieftains and 
adventurers led their w^arlike followers from every quarter 
against the host of the Moghals. When the odds were too 
heavy against them they disappeared into the fastnesses of 
the mountains. One party beaten off it was succeeded by 
another. Against these foes the unwieldy army of the 
emperor was of little avail. In fact he had steadily played 
into their hands. He had destroyed the local powers that 
had for generations kept them under control, and his bigotry 
led him to adopt a course of measures whicli effectually 
roused their detestation of his rule. He was increasing 
in years ; and, while he trusted none of his subordinates, 
he could exercise less and less personal control over his 
colossal administration. His ministers were negligent and 
corrupt ; intrigue ran riot through every department. A 
partial success w^as achieved when in 1689 Sambhaji fell into 
his hands, and was led a prisoner into the imperial camp. 
Overcome with shame at his condition Sambhaji longed for 
death. He was offered life on the condition of embracing 
Islam. He scornfully replied that the emperor had better give 
him his daughter, and then he would become a follower of the 
Prophet. In his rage and impotency he launched furious 
invectives upon the founder of the faith. Such an insult 
to the Muhammadan religion had to be avenged with the 
utmost severity. By Aurangzib's orders, a red-hot iron 


was drawn across his eyes, his tongue was cut out, and his 
head severed from his body. The Marathas had been 
much estranged from Sambhaji, but the}- were filled with fury 
at this brutal execution of the son of their great leader. 
Rajarcim, the half brother of Sambhaji, was declared regent 
on behalf of Shiwaji, commonly known as Sahu, the son of 
Sambh iji, a boy only six years old. Rajaram was formally 
seated on the throne, and active preparations were made to 
man the forts and resist the Moghals. The fleet was not 
neglected. Its admiral Sidoji Guzar was ably assisted by 
his second-in-command named Kanhoji Angria, whose father 
Tukaji Angria had early distinguished himself in Shiwaji' s 
navy. The Angria family subsequently gave immense trouble 
to the Government of Bombay, by its organised system of 

Rajaram possessed no small share of his father's ability. 
He carried on with marked success the war against the 
emperor. He even gathered together for a time a larger 
number of troops under one flag than the great Shiwaji 
himself. Aurangzib moved against Satara which he besieged 
and took. But the Marathas went about collecting chauth^ 
and plundering and burning towns and villages that resisted 
them. No Moghal force could overtake or cut off the lightly 
equipped Maratha horsemen. The emperor might capture 
some of their forts, but there was an almost endless number 
to fall back upon. Nearly every hill top in the land was 
scarped down and protected with bulwarks. In 1700 
Rajanim died, but his death was of no more advantage to the 
emperor than the capture and execution of Sambhaji. His 
eldest son Shiwaji was declared Raja under the regency of his 
mother Tarabai, and the struggle was carrried on as keenly 
as ever. The national spirit was roused in earnest. Aurangzib 


had exhausted the revenues of the Deccan ; the Marathas 
intercepted his caravans of treasure from Hindustan. The 
Marathas had sometimes to how before the storm, but they 
were never broken ; and they resisted his final efforts with 
constantly renewed vitality. Their numbers multiplied and 
they extended their operations in all directions, plundering 
wherever their demands were refused. Khandesh and Guzanit 
were overrun ; and over the whole face of the country were 
seen slaughtered soldiers, homeless ryots, and burning crops. 

The Emperor's strength was broken, and the final acts of 
the tragedy approaching. His empire was unwieldy and 
rotten to the core, ready to fall to pieces of its own weakness. 
The ^Marathas gave his army no rest, ever bafiling the 
imperial troops. They cut off their supplies, re-captured the 
forts, and even worsted them in the open field. At last, in 
1707, after a quarter of a century of strife, Aurangzib died at 
Ahmadnagar, hemmed in within his starving camp while the 
Marathas feasted around it. 

So ended Aurangzib. There is little interest in the history 
of his successors to the throne of Babar. Their roll continued 
until the last was sent across the sea by the English in 1858. 
Their story is a record of s^vift ruin. The Hindu martial 
races closed in upon the empire. Mussalman viceroys made 
themselves independent kings. Devastating hosts swept into 
India from the North, while the merchants on the coast 
found themselves, almost without knowing it, rulers of the 
Moghal and Maratha realms alike. 

( 1-28 ) 

xl— rise of the pesiiwas and the great 
marAtha houses. 

THE Maratha power had a strange habit of constantly 
shifting its local position and character. It might 
centre round Shiwaji, forming for a time a real and compact 
nationality. It might be disintegrated into thousands of pre- 
datory bandSj each under its petty chieftain. It might amal- 
gamate these miniature communities into a few powerful and 
independent states. The power might be exercised by the 
actual king or by an independent minister in the name of a 
nominal Raja. But in all its changes it never while it lasted 
ceased to be formidable. In fact, the versatility of its nature 
added to the difficulties of its opponents. What had seemed 
the very mainstay of the pov/er might be destroyed ; but 
another head would spring up elsewhere, and the \vork be 
no nearer its end than before. For a time after the death 
of Aurangzib, the form which the strength assumed was that 
of two great rival parties. 

From the time of xlkbar, the death of each emperor had 
been followed by a desperate struggle for the sovereignty 
between his sons. Aurangzib had hesitated at no iniquity to 
seat himself on the throne. During his life time his own 
sons ^Yere incessantly at war with each other. His empire 
was beginning to fall to pieces, and if one thing more than 
another was needed to preserve its existence, it was that the 
government should remain in the hands of one strong man. 


IXotwithstancliiig all this, Alamglr left behind him a ridiculous 
and impossible \Yill, dividing his empire between his three 
■sons. The natural consequences followed. Muazim slew his 
brothers Azim and Kambaksh, and at the age of sixty 
ascended the throne as Bahadur Shah. AVhen Sambhaji, the 
■son of Shiwaji, had been captured by Aurangzib, his little son 
Shiwaji had been taken with him. The boy w^as brought up 
in the imperial court under the name of Sahu, given him by 
Avay of a coarse pun by Aurangzib himself. The English, 
with the astonishing indifference to native languages which 
marked their early career, chose to regard this name as a title ; 
;and they spoke of each successor to the throne as the Sahu 
IRjija. Azim set him free, thinking that some of the Manitha 
'Chiefs would take up his cause and their temporary union 
cease. The notion was judicious, but it was Bahadur Sh.'li 
\vho reaped its fruit, Sahu vowed allegiance to Delhi, and 
s>oon gathered round him a large number of adherents who 
were discontented with the rule of Tarabai, the widow of 
Bajanim, on behalf of her son Shiwaji. Sahu obtained 
possession of Satara, ami was formally enthroned there 
in ] 708. Tarabai continued a fruitless struggle on behalf 
of her son, taking Kolhapur and Panalla as her base of 
operations. But her son Shiwaji; who was an idiot, died 
in 1712 and she was placed under restraint. The party 
was subsequently revived by a younger son of llajaram 
named Sambhnji. In 1729 this Sambhaji was finally defeated 
by Sahu and resigned his pretentions to the Maratha 
throne. He was allowed to retain the title of Raja of 

During his contest vrith Tarabai, Sahu made an application 
to Sir Nicholas Waite, the governor of Bombay, for a supply 
of gun<?, ammunition, European soldiers and money. But a 


recollection of the result of Sir John Child's foohsh policy 
fortunately led to the request being refused. 

The Moghal viceroy of the Deccan, or such of the 
Deccan as the Marathas had left to the empire, was at this- 
time Daud Khan. Seeing the impossibility of resisting the- 
Manitha demands for chauth he adopted the wise policy of 
admitting them, but he arranged to collect the dues himself 
and hand them over to the Mariithas. They on their side 
refrained from, plunder, and remained true to the allegiance 
promised by Sjihu. Thus for a time there was secured in 
ihe Deccan a less intolerable state of things than had of late 

Bahadur Shah died in 1712, and the usual contest at once 
arose between his sons. Jahandar Shah seized the throne 
with the aid of Zultikar Khan, a general who had greatly 
distinguished himself in Aurangzib's Deccan wars, and who 
had held the post of viceroy before Daud Khan. Jahandar 
Shah was a typical Eastern tyrant. He immediately mas- 
sacred all his near kinsfolk, with the exception of his nephew 
Farokhsir, who managed to escape. Farokhsir's cause was 
taken up by Syad Hussein Ali, governor of Bahar, and his 
brother Syad Abdulla, governor of AlhUuihad. These two 
brothers were aided by a f^tmous man, Chin Khilich Khiin, 
who under the name of Nizam-ul-Mulk Asuf Jab, founded 
the dynasty of the Nizams of the Deccan at Ilydarabad, 
Zulfikar Khan and his protege Jahiindar Shah were slain, and 
Farokhsir reigned iii his uncle's stead. Nizam-ul-Mulk was 
made viceroy of the Deccan, Daud Khan being transferred to 
Guznrat. The jMarathas pretended to consider that the ar- 
rangement which they had made with Daud Khan ceased with 
his transfer to another province. But his successor managed 
to keep them under a general contiol, and prevented any 


dangerous combination by fanning the flames of the struggle 
between vSahu of Satara and Sambhaji of Kolhapur, The 
two Syad brothers ruled at Delhi in the name of Farokhsir, 
Avho was, however, by no means a willing tool in their hands. 
When one of the brothers, Hussein Ali, was nominated viceroy 
of the Deccan, the emperor sent a secret message to Daud 
Khan to intercept him and kill him. The result was Daud 
Khan's own death. Hussein secured the viceroy alty of the 
Deccan, Nizam-ul-Mulk being sent to Moradabad in the 
North of India. Hussein Ali considered it advisable to 
side with Sahu as being the stronger of the rival claimants 
for power, and as having consistently shown a disposition of 
friendship to the Moghals. The Peshwa, or prime minister 
of Sahu, was now a Brahman named Buhiji Wishwanatb, 
who had risen from the humble position of a hereditary 
accountant in a village of the Konkan. By his advice, Sahu 
demanded from Hussein Ali a recognition of his claims to all 
the territory that had belonged to Shiwaji, together with his 
right to chauth and other charges on the revenue. On his 
part, Siihu promised to pay tribute amounting to 5^100,000 
a year, to maintain a body of 15,000 horse for the emperor's 
service, and 'to clear the country of all depredators. The 
demands were enormous, but they were admitted by the 
viceroy who hoped thus to consolidate the power of a ruler who 
seemed a staunch and strong supporter of the imperial 
interests. Hussein hardly realised the nature of the power 
of which Sahu was the head. By thus consolidating the 
Maratha power he was pulling down and not building up the 
edifice of the empire. 

The Moghal concessions were brought about at the in- 
stance of the Peshwa ; and the general energy instilled by the 
astute and able Brahman into the government of Suhu 


placed the Maratha afiiiirs in a more favourable condition 
than they had latel}^ worn. The struggle between the 
Scitara and Kolhapur parties, encouraged by the Moghal 
viceroys, who first favoured one faction and then the 
other, had increased the usual anarchy of the country to an 
unendurable extent. Many petty depredators had allied 
themselves to Sambhaji. Of these the most formidable 
was Kanhoji Angria. After succeeding to the command of the 
Maratha fleet this officer, by a series of daring and extensive 
piracies, made himself practically master of the coast from 
Bombay to Sawantwari, near Goa, in his own and not in the 
llaja's interests. His head-quarters were at the island fort 
of Kolaba off the town of Alibag, twenty miles south of 
Bombay. After an ineffectual expedition against this upstart, 
in which Angria imprisoned the Peshwa Bairu Pant, Balaji 
Wishwcinath had been deputed to deal with him. By shrewd 
diplomacy, the Brahman raised a quarrel between Angria and 
the Sidi ; then co-operating with the latter he invaded Angria's 
territory and compelled him to submit. It was for his services 
on this occasion that Balaji was promoted to the office of Peshwa 
in 1714. But Angria made common cause with Sambhaji or 
with Sahu only so long as it suited his own convenience. 

Sahu was not destitute of ability, and under his autho- 
rity and the guiding hand of Balaji Peshwa, the ]\Iaratha 
power steadily expanded. The legitimate head of the 
Marathas, he always styled himself king of the Hindus. 
But he invariably acknowledged himself a vassal of Delhi, 
and the importance of his nation was increased by the 
consideration shown him by the Moghal s. Nor was his 
influence weakened by the fatuity of the emperor, who i)lotted 
with the ^larathas against his own viceroy. But in an age of 
plots, conspiracies, suspicion, and intrigues overtures came from 


all who had anything to gam to those who had anything to 
give. The emperor declined to ratify Hussein All's treaty 
with Sahu. The viceroy therefore promised still greater 
concessions to the Ma^ratha king if he would but lend him an 
army to enforce his demands at Delhi. The opportunity was 
too good to be lost. The Peshwa himself was placed in 
com.maud of the Manitha forces. He was instructed by 
Sihu to obtain fche right of collecting tribute in Guzirat and 
INIcilwa besides other important privileges- The combined 
armies marched to Delhi in the year 1/20. A tumult arose 
in the imperial city and the Manithas lost no less thau 1,500 
men. But Hussein Ali gained his object. The emperor was 
first blinded and then strangled by the Syads, who set up in 
succession two princes each of ^Yhom died of consumption 
in a few weeks. Their third clioice was less unlucky, and 
Raoshan Aklitar, a son of Jah;inclar Shah, was crowned as 
Muhammad Shih and reigned till 1748. One of his first acts 
was to send back the Marathas to the Deccan, and with them 
Sahu's mother and family who all this time had been 
retained at Delhi. The Maratha soldiers were well paid for 
their work, and imperial patents were issued confirming all 
the agreements between Hussein Ali and Sahu. The Maratha 
desultory claims, which had hitherto rested on mere force, 
were thus legalized as a permanent national institution by the 
imperial government. The amount of tribute which they 
were entitled to demand from outlying provinces was never 
exactly defined. The difficulty was easily smoothed over by 
the simple expedient of exacting as much as they could. 

But though Baliiji had no desire for an exact definition of 
the rights thus conferred, he devised a singularly ingenious and 
systematic method for the collection and appropriation of the 
revenues. Its intricacy and elaboration rendered the Brahman 


accountant ever more and more necessary to the illiterate 
Mariitha chief, and so increased the power of the Peshwas. 
At the same time, it was so contrived that by the sub-division 
and partition of revenue in each province, or charge, which of 
set purpose was made to lap over and include one or more 
others, each chief had an interest in the increase of the whole 
as well as that which he himself collected, a portion of which 
he was entitled to retain for the maintenance of his troops. 
The system was a bar on the independence of each while it 
encouraged their common encroachments on the Moghal power. 
Thus a common interest was created and for some time sus- 
tained between the Maratha chiefs ; and the increasing sub- 
jection of Sahu to the master mind of Balaji Wishwanath 
paved the way for the suprem.acy of the Peshwas. But with 
all this, although the Marathas undoubtedly formed a nation 
in a \YRj that no other body of people in India, except 
perhaps the Sikhs, ever did, yet their constitution had in 
it all along the seeds of ultimate dissolution. Their nationality, 
in order to continue at all, had to be not only aggressive 
but predatory. Any notion of settling down to the dull life 
of ordinary farmers or merchants was foreign to their nature. 
The object of their existence was organised robbery. It 
could only be a question of time for resistance to arise to 
such a system and cast off its intolerable burden. 

For the time, however, they had their way. The empire 
was rotten to the core, and the English at Bombay had not 
yet the strength to oppose them . The English merchants were 
at present little concerned with the doings of the rulers of 
Siitara or Delhi. Bombay harbour continued to be the scene 
of many a fight between the Sidi of Janjira and thePcshwaof 
king Sjjhu, but the policy of discreet neutralitv remained 
unaltered. Their settlement meanwhile flourished almost 


beyond their expectation. But though they took care not 
to interfere with others they could not prevent others from 
molesting them, and for many 3'ears their commerce suffered 
greatly at the hands of the pirate Kanhoji Angria. While 
admiral of the Maratha fleet he had shown himself a daring 
and adventurous leader. He had not hesitated to turn his 
arms against his master and put the Peshwa in chains. He 
"^vas the scourge of the "Western Coast. His head-quarters 
alternated between KoMba and Wijaydrug, or Gheria, an 
impregnable port on the Ratnagiri coast, that has been called 
the Gibraltar of the east. The decay of the Portuguese power 
encouraged this daring pirate, and for many years he proved 
n thorn in the flesh of the English at Bombay. In 1717 he 
seized the British ship ''Success" and beat off an attack 
upon Gheria. He held the island of Khanderi off Bombay 
harbour, and a British fleet that sailed against him had 
•to return unsuccessful. In vain did the British and the 
Portuguese combine to attack him both at Ghoria and Kolaba. 
lie managed to contrive an intrigue with a Brahman named 
llama Kumpti, who was employed in duties of a confidential 
nature by Mr. Charles Boone, the governor of Bombay, and 
who was in command of some native retainers. In reply to 
despatches from this governor, entreating him to leave off his 
habits of piracy, Angria wrote derisive and sarcastic letters. He 
pointed out that God gives nothing immediately from himself 
but takes from one and gives to another. As to his governnient 
being founded on violence and piracy, he retorted with undeniable 
truth that Shiwaji's government had commenced in the self- 
same way, and that. His Excellency would see, seemed likely 
to endure. In the war between himself and the English there 
had been loss on both sides, for victories depend upon the 
hand of God. The governor had told him that he who 

136 IllS^Or^V OF THE UO^IBAY PI:ESiI'l::XC V. 

follows war will find cause to repent. To this Angria con- 
tented himself with replying that he supposed that Ilis- 
Excellency Charles Boone spoke from experience. Encouraged 
by his successes, Angria proceeded to take another richh" 
laden Company's ship ; and though in 1718 he seemed inclined 
to come to terms with the English, in the following year he 
captured the royal galley *' King ^Yilliam/' His death iu 
1731 was welcomed as a relief, but though his sons fought 
with each other for the pirate kingdom, yet the Angria 
family did more mischief to the English than ever ; and the 
cost of the fleet that was built to protect the Company's trade 
amounted to ^50,000 a year. 

While the fabric of the empire at Delhi was being shaken 
by revolts in the Panjab and Kashmir, Nizam-ul-Mulk was 
adopting a course of action fraught Avith yet greater danger 
for his master. Deeply hurt at receiving from the Syads in 
return for all his services only tlie governorship of Malvva, he^ 
determined to take for himself Avhat he considered due to him 
from others. He marched south of the Narbada, seized 
Burhanpur and Asirgahr, and at Bahipur defeated the im- 
perial army that sent against him. Hussein Ali now^ 
determined to march against Nizam-ul-Mulk in person and 
to take the emperor with him. But the power of the in- 
famous Syads was at an end. With the aid of a courtier, 
named Muhammad Amin, the emperor procured the assassina- 
nation of Hussein. He overcame the opposition of Abdulla^ 
whom he imprisoned, and marched back to Delhi which he 
entered with splendid rejoicings. Muhammad Amin was made 
minister but almost immediately died. Nizam-ul-Mulk» 
whose successful revolt was the primary cause of this 
happy revolution, was summoned from the Deccan to 
succeed him. Congratulations came to the emperor from all 


sides, including Siihu and the chiefs of the European factories, 
who sent comphmentary addresses. 

Nizcim-ul-Mulk, in accepting the office of Wazir or minister,- 
had been permitted to retain his viceroyalty of the Deccan. 
His object in accepting office at Delhi had been to bring 
about sweeping reforms ; but the only changes that the 
emperor cared for were from one form of vice and sensuality 
to another. Nizam- ul-^Iulk was thoroughly disgusted with 
the state of things in the capital ; and finding that a rival 
had arisen in Ilydar Kuli Khan, the late governor of Guzarat, 
he obtained permission to return to the Deccan, and together 
with that viceroyalty he received the governorship of 
Guzcirat. He took charge of both provinces, not without 
opposition in the latter. Then not choosing to remain out of 
sight, and still half hoping to receive favour at court, he re- 
turned to Delhi. Here he found his position insupportable, and 
once more returned to the Deccan. This act was considered 
by the emperor as virtually a declaration of independence,, 
and he ordered the governor of Hydarabad to send him the 
Nizam's head as that of a rebel. A head was sent, but 
it was that of the Hydarabad governor ; and the Nizam 
offered his congratulations at the suppression of a rebellion 
which the emperor had not avowed to be of his own making. 
Nizam-ul-Mulk took possession of Golkonda and Hydarabad. 
At this place he took up his residence and founded the 
practically independent dynasty of the Nizams of Hydarabad 
which has lasted until now. But the dominions of this 
house were to be greatly reduced in extent by the ^larathas 
and the English. Aurangzib had destroyed two great 
Muhammadan kingdoms in order to plant his own authority 
in the Deccan. And now, before twenty years had passed 
after his death, the power of the empire in the Deccan was. 


extinguished, and an independent Muhammadan ruler held 
a small and decreasing part of the broad dominions that 
in that part of India had once been subject to Islam. 
From time to time, however, Nizam- ul-Mulk sent gifts to 
the emperor whom it suited him to consider nominally his 

Nizam-ul-Mulk thought to carry on his former system of 
securing himself by sowing dissension among the Marathas, 
but he found a considerable chanp:e in the condition of the 
Hindu power. Balaji Wishwanath was dead. In his son 
Eaji liao, who succeeded him in the office of Peshwa, he found 
a yet more skilful and formidable opponent. Sahu had to all 
intents and purposes delegated his powder to his minister, and 
Avith the rise of what may be fairly called the Brahman 
dynasty of the Peshwas there rose to power the great Maratha 
families of Sindia, Holkar, the Gaikwdr of Baroda, and the 
llaja ofBarar.* In the battle- of Balapur an officer named 
Biimaji Gaikwar, serving among the Maratha allies of Nizam- 
ul-Mulk, had greatly distinguished himself; and the collec- 
tion of the chauth in Guzarat was made over to him and his 
lines as an hereditary right. Such is the origin of the reigning 
family of Baroda. The name Gaikwar is a common one amongst 
Marathas and signifies cow-herd. Holkar was a IMaratha 
Dangar, or shepherd, who showed his gallantry in the com- 
mand of some bodies of horse. He also received the right to 
collect chauth, and founded the reigning family of Indore. 
Sindia, though of old family, rose from a still humbler personal 
position, having attracted Baji Rao's notice by the way in 
which he filled the office of slipper-bearer. He received a 

* I have, in accordauce with popular usage, written " tlie Gaikwdr.'* 
It is incorrect, and should bo simply Gaikwdr, as Sindia and Holkar. 
His surname was Gaikwar, and his title Riija of Baroda. 


similar distinction, and his family became the powerful rulers 
of Gwalior. Raghoji Bhonsle, the Raja of Barar, obtained 
like privileges. 

Baji Rao was an abler son of an able father. He was not 
only a statesman but a soldier, and could himself execute 
the products of his brain. What Balaji had planted, Baji 
Rao watered. He developed and extended to an extraor- 
dinary degree his father's daring plans. He worked out 
and elaborated his financial schemes, with especial reference 
to concentrating upon a common object the predatory 
hordes of Maharastra. In fact, the wise precautions of the 
two Peshwas had strongly united the Marathas ; and 
their common interest in the collection of the revenues 
bound them together to an extent unsuspected by Nizam-ul- 
Mulk. Rapidly grasping this fact he proceeded to turn it 
to his own advantage. While losing no opportunity of 
creating dissensions among the Marathas he took care to 
preserve his general connection with them. He was ready 
to secure the integrity of his own kingdom by aiding the 
Peshwa in pulling down the dominions of their common lord. 
The Peshwa did not stand in need of much encouragement. 
He understood the materials that he had to deal with. He 
saw that it was no time for bringing into better order the 
possessions that the Marathas had acquired. He could guide 
but he could not hold in the masses of wild Maratha horse- 
men who covered the whole country. He pointed out to 
Sahu the imbecility of the Moghal authorities and the 
degeneracy of the empire. Appealing to the name of 
Shiwaji, he urged him to spread his power over the imperial 
domain itself. '' If we can strike the withered trunk," he 
said, "the branches will fall of themselves.'* Sahu's enthusiasm 
was kindled. The Nizam received assurances of the Peshwa's 


good-will as loug as he did not interfere with the Marathft 
invasion of Hindustan. The work was promptly taken in 
hand. Holkar plundered and ravaged Bengal and Oudh, 
and Baji Rao himself took the field and marched against 
Delhi. Striking terror into the emperor, he extorted from 
him ^130,000 for the expenses of the campaign and also 
the sovereignty of Malwa. But the Niziim had not heen true 
to his agreement. The emperor seeing that his dominions 
were seriously menaced hy the Marathas had, by profuse 
promises, induced the aged viceroy once more to operate on his- 
side. Leaving his son Nasir Jang in the Deccan, Nizcim-ul- 
Mulk marched to the aid of his nominal master. But he 
was out-generalled by the Pesliwa, and forced to recognise the 
cession in perpetuity of all the country between the Narbada 
and the Chambal. He was compelled to purchase exemp- 
tion from further action against himself by the payment of 
half a million sterling (1738). 

Nor were the operations of the Marathas confined to the 
Moghal empire. An army from Goa had assisted Angria 
against the Peshwa, and the Portuguese had to pay the penalty. 
The Manithas under Chimnaji, the Peshwa's brother, attacked 
them in the island of Salsette, or Shasthi, between Bombay 
and the mainland. In 1737 they captured its chief town 
Thana, and in 1739 drove them out of the island which they 
had held for more than two hundred years. In the same year^ 
after a brave defence, the fort of Bassein, the Portuguese- 
capital of the North, capitulated to the Marathas ; the Por- 
tuguese losing 800 men in killed and wounded and the be- 
siegers 5,000. The English, under the governorship, of 
Mr. John Home, professed neutrality. But they sold shot and 
shell to the Marathas ; and, in spite of the danger to their own 
settlement that the success of the Marathas might bring, their 


•sympathies evidently lay with them and not with their Euro- 
pean rivals. Salsette was the most important of the islands 
that the English considered had heen promised hy the Por- 
tuguese crown to England with Bomhay in 1661, and they 
had not ceased to resent the non-fulfilment of the contract. 
The Bombay citizens however hospitably entertained the un- 
successful garrison of Bassein. Thus ended the power of the 
only formidable European rival to the English that set 
foot on the western shores of India. The Portuguese 
strength was broken. They could no longer hold Chaul and 
the fort that they had built for its protection on the opposite 
t'ock of Korlai. They handed them ever to the English who 
passed them on to the Marathas. The Christian population, 
for the most part, migrated to Bombay and Goa. But the 
English were awakened by the events at Salsette and at 
Bassein, to the strength of the Mardthas, and were fully de- 
termined not to come to blows with them. They sent a double 
embassy in the person of Captain Inchbird to Chimnaji at 
Bassein, and Captain Gordon to Sahu at Satiira. The latter 
found that he should have rather addressed himself to the 
Peshwa who was the real ruler. Both embassies were favour- 
ably received and the right of free trade in the Maratha 
dominions confirmed. 

An event now occurred which laid Delhi in ashes and filled 
the world with horror, and for a moment kindled a flash of 
national patriotism in the breasts of Manithas and Mussal- 
mans alike. Nadir Shah, king of Persia, came down through 
the x4fghan passes and invaded the plains of India, defeat- 
ing the imperial army beneath the w^alls of Delhi. But 
the inhabitants murdered the guards that he had placed in 
charge of the city. Incensed beyond measure at this act, the 
Persian king gave the signal for a general massacre. The 


slain amounted to no less than 30,000. The whole city was 
plundered, and the royal jewels and the peacock throne, itself 
worth several million pounds, carried away. 

Baji Rao and his army were far from Delhi. Had they been 
nearer the Persian historians might have had another tale to 
tell. For the completeness of the catastrophe made them 
forget their quarrels with the Moghals, and realise that there 
was but one enemy against whom all the inhabitants of Hin- 
dustan and the Deccan alike must unite. But patriotism wa^ 
a plant that could not reach maturity on Indian soil until it 
grew up later on in loyalty to the British crown. Wlien 
Nadir Shah marched away, the old dissensions were renewed. 
Increasing demands were made by the Manithas, and Baji 
Rao was on the point of leading another expedition to Hin- 
dustan when in the year 1740 he died. He had spread the 
!Maratha predatory system from province to province till it 
included the grearter part of the empire. He had built up to 
be the most powerful people in India a nation whose existence 
depended upon the confusion of other states. A century 
before they had not even been heard of and now their name 
was a terror as far as Delhi and Orissa, Madras and Trichi- 
nopoli. The Manitha nation was a tremendous engine of 
destruction that in Baji Bao's hands was skilfully directed. 
The Moghal empire was at their mercy. The Portuguese 
were humbled. The English and French, as yet unaware of 
their own strength, only sought to increase their trade and 
privileges by humble submission and the offers of bribes and 
presents to the native courts. For a time the artificial 
divisions of revenue cemented with almost unexpected success 
the union of the Marathas. But the system was as likely as 
not in course of time to create rivalry and hostility. Each 
officer interpreted the amount of his master's claims accord- 


ing to his own pleasure and enforced them accordhig to the 
extent of his own abiHty with Httle reference to their abstract 

The Peshwa was succeeded by his eldest son Balaji Baji 
Rao, better known by the common Marjitha name of Nana 
Sahib. His second son was Raghonath Rao, who was after- 
wards so well known to the English as Raghoba. The 
new Peshwa not without some difficulty crushed the opposi- 
tion of Raghoji Bhonsle the head of the Banir family and 
of some other headstrong Maratha chiefs. He obtained 
greater concessions than ever from the emperor as to the 
collection of chauth. He sent plundering expeditions from 
sea to sea. In one expedition alone no less than tsvo and a 
half million sterling were extorted from the great banking 
house of Jagat Shet at Murshidabad, the seat of the Moghal 
viceroy of Bengal. In 1748 Nizam-ul-Mulk was gathered to 
his fathers at the wonderful age of 104, a few months after 
his nominal master Muhammad Shah. The Nizam left a 
number of sons and was succeeded by the eldest, Nasir Jang, 
who had rebelled against him but been forgiven. The 
successor of the emperor was his son Ahmad Shah, and the 
dynasty became a mere shadow. The following year saw 
the death of Sahu. His indolence had not allowed him to 
use his natural abiHty. He had come to rely on the Peshwa 
in every detail of the administration, and in his last years he 
was in a state of mental imbecility. He partially recovered 
before he died, and having no sons he adopted as his heir 
Rama, a grandson of Tarabai who was still alive. Rama or 
Ram Raja had been born in 1712 after the death of his 
father Shiwaji, the idiot son of Riijaram, in whose name 
Tarabai had attempted to govern the Marathas from 
Kolhcipur. One other important act was done by Sahu before 


his death. He gave the Peshwa a deed empowering him to 
manage the ^vhole government of the Maratha empire on 
condition of lus perpetuating the Raja's name, and keeping 
up the dignity of the house of Shiwaji through the grandson 
of Tanibaiand his descendants. Kolhapur was to continue a 
separate state. The Peshwa had power to conclude such 
arrangements, w4th the jagbirdars or holders of estates under 
the Kaja as might be advantageous for extending Hindu 
power. In this way the dominions that Shiwaji had created 
passed from the hands of his family to the Brahman 
minister who now became hereditary ruler of the nation. 
But m deference to popular tradition it was expedient to 
maintain one of his lineage as a nominal king. 

( l-i-^ ) 


IT was now (1748) close on a century and a half since 
Hawkins had landed at >Siirat, and nearly ninety years 
since the cession of liomhay hy the Portnguese. The 
Lnglish had huilt up a vast trade, but their sole territorial 
])OSsession was the island of Bombay itself. Far from 
having any idea of creating an empire and conquering the 
lands n])on Avhlcli they gazed from tluir factories, their 
energies were concentrated on the ])reservation of peace with 
the ^Nloghals, ALarathas, and rortiiguese. Tliey saw the 
forces of those nations dashing themselves to pieces against 
each other, and realised how easily they might be turned 
against their own island. Jjut on the other side of India the 
keen eye of Dnpleix had grasped the possibility of forming 
a powerful European emj)Ire in India. The method to bo 
em])loycd was that of ostensibly worlsing on behalf of rival 
native ])rlnces. And a greater than Dnpleix. had arisen in 
Iiobert Cllve, the young English merchant ayIio exchanged 
ihe ledger for the sword, nnd who. by working out the 
Frenchman's idea, added a continent to the British empire. 
The decaying Moghal organisation provided an admirable 
machinery for the purposes of conquest. The empire was ruled 
by viceroys Avho were practically independent princes. It was 
easy to treat them as vassals of the empire which they w ere 
de jure, or as sovereign powers which tliey were <!<.■ iarin, 


whichever might he most convenient. AlHances might again 
be made with a gennine viceroy or a pretender to the throne, 
according as one or the other could offer the greater 
advantages. In fact the ruler, whoever he might be, could 
be used as an instrument to cloak the real designs of the 
encroaching foreigner. Besides this, the unwieldy armies 
of native kings were no match for a few disciplined European 
troops. But Dupleix saw that there existed in the native 
soldiery magnificent material out of which a judicious military 
training might elaborate regiments but little if at all inferior 
to Europeans themselves. So Dupleix raised the first sepoy 
regiments, and Olive instantly perceiving their value worked 
out the system with greater success than its originator. Thus 
in southern India commenced the struggle which was to be 
fought for the English or French supremacy. While England 
and France w^ere at Avar their representatives in India fought 
for the quarrels of their nations at home. When peace was 
concluded they ranged themselves on opposite sides under 
the banners of native princes. 

South and W^est of the dominions of Nizam-ul-Mulk lay 
the province of the Carnatic. A succession of intrigues, mur- 
ders and battles had been taking place for years to decide 
who was to possess its throne, and the English and French 
supported rival candidates. Nizam-ul-Mulk and thePeshwa 
had been actively concerned in the dispute. Maratha hordes, 
under the redoubtable Raghoji Bhonsle, had over-run the 
country and placed their own partisan on the throne. 
Chanda Scihib, who was supported by the French, was a pri- 
soner for some years at Satara. But though the Peshwa 
and the Nizam were concerned in the struggle, and the Eng- 
lish in Bombay were closely w^atching its course, yet the 
events of the war in the Carnatic occurred almost entirely 


beyond the limits of the Bombay Presidency, and it would be 
foreign to my purpose to describe them in detail. The 
English and French both achieved, with unexpected facility, 
successes over native armies. Their fortunes alternated, but 
tlie Enghsh under Clive attained a great military reputation, 
especially after the famous siege of Arcot in 1751. Under 
Dupleix and his successor Bussy, the French acquired in the 
Northern Sirkars, on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, a ter- 
ritory whose revenue was ^'500,000 per annum. Dupleix 
indeed achieved for a while a greater success than he could 
ever have ventured to hope for. He had made his protege 
Chanda Sahib Nawab of the Carnatic. His measures had 
overcome Nasir Jang, the young Nizam of the Deccan, and 
he placed his owui candidate Mozaffar Jang, son of Nizam-ul- 
!Mulk's daughter, on the throne. He himself was made 
governor of all India south of the Krishna on behalf of the 
Emperor of Delhi. But in 1754 he was recalled and thrown 
into the Bastille ; a fate reserved for Labourdonnais and 
Lally, two more of France's greatest sons. Mozaffar Jang 
meanwhile had been killed in battle and Ghazi-ud-din, a 
son of Nizam-ul-Mulk, poisoned. Another brother, Salabat 
Jang, was placed on the throne by aid of the French. The 
Peshwa too had taken advantage of the rival claims on the 
viceroyalty of the Deccan to add some large slices of territory 
to his own dominions. In 1753 an agreement was come to 
between the French and the English which was slightly 
favourable to the latter. The possessions of each were equali- 
sed, and they agreed to refrain from further interference with 
native powers. At this juncture. Colonel Clive returned to 
England on furlough. But he came out in 1755 more 
anxious than ever to dispute the mastery of the Deccan with 
M. Bussy ; for, as he said, '* So long as there was one French- 


man in arms in the Deccan or in India there Avoukl be no 
peace/* He probably fully saw that all India must go to the 
conqueror. But Chve ^vas first to be employed in Bombay, 
and then after a brief tenure of the governorship of Fort St. 
David in the Madras Presidency, he had in 1756 to leave 
M. Bussy in as strong a position as ever in order to repair a 
tremendous catastrophe that had occurred in Bengal. But 
before following the adventurous career of Clive it ^vill be- 
convenient to revert to the doings of the Marathas. 

The original capital of Shiwaji's empire had been Baygaluv 
Under Sambhaji it was, if anywhere, Sangameshwar, on the 
Ghiits to the South of Raygahr. Under Sahu it had been 
moved to Siitara, Kolhapur being the rival seat of Manitha 
power. Upon the death of Sahu and the formal transfer of 
power to the Peshwa,the seat of empire was transfered to Puna, 
which remained the capital of the Marathas to the last. All 
the chief officers of the state who had been appointed by the 
Raja were confirmed in their possessions by the Peshwa. 
Ranoji Sindia died and his son Jyapa succeeded to his 
jnghir. The two houses of Sindia and Holkar divided be- 
tween them nearly the whole of Malwa, with a revenue 
of a million and a half sterling. The Gaikwar of Baroda 
came next in importance of those chiefs whose possessions 
formed an integral part of the empire. Ahmadabad whose 
possession had been disputed between the Manithas and 
Moghals was finally taken possession of by the former in 
1755. The revenues w^ere to be equally divided between the 
Peshwa and the Gaikwar. The latter's share included the 
dues from Broach, the port on the Narbada. But he had to 
content himself with a moiety of the revenues of Surat for 
the exclusive possession of which city oj)posing claimants in 
vain contended. In fact Guzarat was never completely 

Tin: T:x<;rjs}i anh the iTn:xcir. 140 

settled by the !Maratlias, and the strangely irregular 
-appearance on the local maps of the possessions of the 
British and Baroda states at the present day points to the 
luidecided claims to the o^Ynership of the territory. But a 
more powerful man than the Gaikwjir was Baghoji Bhonsle 
of }3arar who carried his arms from one end of India to the 
otlier. lie collected tribute from the Carnatic and swept 
yearly into Bengal which he looked upon as his own peculiar 
property. In 1751 the English had to dig a ditch round 
'Calcutta to protect themselves against his depredations ; 
and the ^Nlaratha forts at places so distant as Katak and 
Saluiranpur attest the power that they attained. To collect 
revenue and make war were with the ]\Iarathas synonymous 
terms. If a village resisted its officers were tortured till they 
came to a settlement, and bankers' bills, payable on any ])art 
of India, given up to the marauders. If a forr was unsuccess- 
ful in defying them the garrison was })ut to death with 
savage cruelty. 

Bahiji Baji Bao or Nana Sahil) was, if not less able, at all 
events less active in disposition than the preceding Peshwas. 
lie placed the charge of his military arrangements in the 
hands of his brother Baghonath Bao, and the civil adminis- 
tration devolved upon his cousin Sid.'ishiwa Chimnaji, the son 
of Chimnaji Apa who had defeated the Portuguese. 
Through all the years of robbery and plunder the system of 
village communities had secured some degree of justice for 
the people. But it had been supplemented by little 
else. The present Pesliwa now aimed at a more regular 
system, and set his hand to the task ot creating a more 
orderly administration, 

I'nder Nana Sahib the !\Iaratha power reached its zenith, 
tind seemed likely to hold permanently within its grasp the 


whole of the Indian Peninsula. In the reign of Muhammad 
Shcih, the last emperor of Delhi, on whose behalf the most 
ordinary pretensions of respect could be urged, the invasion 
of Nadir Shah had been followed by an inroad of the Afghan 
Ahmad Shah Abdali. The Abdali had been driven back by 
Prince Ahmad who was now the Emperor Ahmad Shah. 
In his reign the Rohillas or descendants of old Afghan in- 
vaders of Bengal rose up in RohilkancI, and the emperor 
adopted the dangerous course of summoning Sindia and 
Holkar to his aid. The rebellion was quelled, but the Mar:i- 
thas who had fought for the emperor plundered his country 
on their own account. This event was followed by another 
invasion of the Afghan Ahmad Abdali, to whom the emperor 
was forced to cede the Panjab. To this misfortune civil war 
was added, and the streets of Delhi were deluged with blood.. 
The Marathas were again summoned to the imperial city,, 
this time against the emperor. It mattered little to these 
professional robbers on which side they fought. The emperor 
was deposed and blinded, and another prince raised to the 
throne in 1754 under the title of Alamgir II. The emperor 
was a puppet in the hands of his despotic and violent minis- 
ter Shahab-ud-din. Under his regime an attempt was made 
to free the Panjab from the troops of iihmad Abdali. The 
Afghan promptly came down from his mountains to avenge 
the insult. He plundered Delhi and the rich city of ]\[athra, 
and mercilessly slaughtered thousands of Hindus who were 
collected there for a religious festival. But the miserable 
emperor sought from the Afghan robbers and murderers a 
defender against his own over-ruling minister, and in 1757 
the Rohilla Najib-ud-Daula was left as commander-in-chief of 
the imperial army. But not even thus could Alamgir escape 
the tvrannv of his minister. Shahab-ud-din called on the 


Manitlias, and Raghonath Rao in obedience to the summons 
led his forces against the emperor. In 1758 he entered Lahar 
in triumph, and the prophecy of Shiwaji was accompHshed 
which said that the Marathas should water their horses in 
the Indus and the Hughh. Raghoba left his new possessions 
in charge of Sindia and Holkar, and himself returned to Puna. 
But the next year the Afgh-in Abdali advanced to recover the 
Panjcib, and Sindia and Holkar were unsuccessful in their 
resistance. Ahmad Abdali might have once more placed 
Alamgir in power. To prevent this possibility his minister 
murdered him and set up a prince of his own choosing. The 
real heir Shah Alam was a fugitive in Bengal. The empire was 
to all intents and purposes at an end, and the struggle was 
now directly between the Marathas and the Afghans. Had 
the warriors from the Deccan driven out the Abdali forces, 
the emperor of India would have been Mahadaji Sindia, the 
famous son of Rcinoji and the only surviving brother of Jyapa. 
News of Sindia's and Holkar's reverses reached the Peshwa 
at a time when things at home had been greatly prospering. 
He had been watching the rival candidates for power in the 
viceroyalty of the Deccan. He had laid plans for obtaining 
concession of territory by aiding whichever party might 
from time to time seem stronger. The result was entirely 
successful. After a short struggle with Nizam Ali, who had 
put to death his brother Salabat Jang the nominee of the 
French and made himself ISTizam, the Peshwa obtained pos- 
session in perpetuity of the important forts of Ahmadnagar 
and Asirghar, the entire province of Bijapur, and much of 
Aurangabud with a revenue of ^620,000. The Moghal 
possessions in the Deccan were thus reduced to small dimen- 
sions, and the Peshwa's army was free to march upon the 
Par jab. 

ir.'i iiivr(.i;v (ij- T[[i: lid.MiiA^ I'Ki'.^i i>i:Nrv. 

Theiiowcr ot the Maratl»a army was accordingly despatched 
to Hindustan. It ^vas commanded b}' Sidashiwa Rao the 
Peshw/rs brother and ^Yishwas Rao the PeshNva's eklest son. 
Maratha armies had hitherto been distinguished for the 
lightness of their equipment and their extraordinary movea- 
bility. But success had induced luxury and magnificence ; 
and the army that marched to DelJii rivalled in the s])lendour 
of its tents and the magnificence of its equipment the 
gorgeous camp of Aurangzib. Nor were the Manithas Avith- 
out allies in their struggle with the Afghans. The cause 
seemed the national one of all Hindus. Rajputs, Pindharis and 
irregulars of all descriptions flocked to the Maratha standard. 
The time had come when Hindu authority should reassert itself 
over the vast empire in ^vhich for so many centuries they had 
been a conquered pcoi)le. The remembrance of the exploits 
of Shiwaji, pride in their recent successes in the Deccan, and 
the hope of extensive plunder in Hindustan, stimulated the 
various Hindu tribes to join for the moment in a common 
cause. Not that the Marathas had any unselfish aims for 
the advancement of their countrymen. They carried in their 
sway destruction and rapine. The freedom that they 
brought to Hindus was limited to that of opinion and the 
unfettered enjoyment of their religious ordinances. All 
alike had to ])ay tribute to the insatiable ^lanithas and bow 
down beneath their yoke. 

The army arrived before Delhi in the hot weather of 1760 
and took up its quarters there for the rainy season, plundering 
everything upon which they could lay their hands. They 
stripped the hall of audience of its silver ceiling which 
produced ^*1 70.000. After the monsoon Ahmad Abdali 
advanced towards Delhi. Tlie Marathas moved out to meet 
iiim, and the contending forces entrenched themselves op- 

iFTi: i;\(irisH axd thi: riiKXcir. 15:] 

poslte each other at Pjliiipat, the fiekl of so many hattles. 
For nearly three months tlie armies lav opposite to each other 
Avithout a decisive engagement being fought. But provisions 
became scarce in the Maratha camp, and dissension ran 
high between their leaders. This style of warfare was totally 
unsuited to them. In January 17i\l they were unable any 
longer to endure their privations. They begged to he led 
out against tlie enemy and the generals at last gave the 
signal for battle. It was a struggle between religions. 
The fierce shouts of the ^luhammadans' ''Allah, Allah," and 
" Din Din," were met by the Hindu " liar liar Mahadew." 
The battle was furiously contested, but after varying 
fortune the Afghans prevailed and the ]\rarathas broke 
mid fled. Vast numbers of them were made prisoners. 
The men were butchered in cold blood the day after the 
4jattle, and the women made slaves. The corpse of AVishwas 
IRao was taken to Ahmad Abdali who said that he 
would have the body of the king of the unbelievers stuffed 
and taken back to Kabul. Tlic (picstion of Hindu supremacy 
over India was decided once for all. Hindustan was 
freed for a time from the ravages of the insatiable Manitha 
plunderers ; and when ten years later Mahadaji Sindia inter- 
fered to place Shah Alam on the throne, he found that he 
had only done so to benefit the English merchants of Cal- 
cutta. But it is now time to retui'n to events elsewhere, 
which have been ])assed over in order to give continuity to 
the doings of the Marathas in Northern India. 

The Marathas were a nation of plunderers, reaping where 
they had not sown, carrying fire and sword, desolation and 
rapine, wherever they went. But all the worst features of 
the race were reproduced and intensified in the pirate family 
of Ano'ria. This detestable brood had established themselves 


in well-nigh impregnable positions along the coast at 
Kandheri, KoMba, Sawarndrug and Gheria. Kanhoji Angria 
was dead, but his sons Sambhaji, Manaji and Tulaji, although 
they were in disagreement with one another, carried on their 
father's profession with equal success. From time to time 
they endeavoured to further their individual aims by induc- 
ing the Portuguese, the Sidi, and the Peshwa to interfere in 
their quarrels ; but they took care to give but little in return 
for the aid which thy sought. They feared neither God nor 
man. In the foulest treachery and the most bloodthirsty 
cruelty their history stands unrivalled. The English had 
not been altogether successful against Kanhoji. The time 
had now come to try their hand against his sons. 

Mr. Richard Bourchier became president or governor of 
Bombay in November 1750. He at once strove to secure a 
more intimate intercourse with the Marathas, for the purpose 
both of completing arrangements as to Surat and of suppress- 
ing the depredations of the Angria family, especially TulajL 
Angria at Gheria. No ship was safe from these ubiquitous 
pirates. Not only did the Angrias follow the vocation, but 
the Raja of Kolhapur from his fortress Sindidrug or Malwan 
and the Sawants of Wari followed their example. From 
Malwan the English spoke of the pirates indiscriminately as 
Malwans. Their general ignorance of native terms was ex- 
traordinary. The case of Sahu has been noticed. Marathas 
were commonly styled Shiwajis and latterly Murattoes. 
Hindus were known as Gentoos, and Mussalmans as Moors or 
Moormen, while Bhonsle was wTitten Bouncello. Several 
years elapsed after Mr. Bourchier's accession to office before 
operations were commenced, and it was not till the month of 
March 1755 that an expedition was despatched. It was 
commanded by Commodore James of the Company's marine^ 


and was to be supported by the Manitha fleet. The support 
was of the feeblest ; but by his judgement and enterprise, 
Commodore James succeeded in taking the four distinct forts 
of Sawarndrug. Upon this several forts in the neighbour- 
hood surrendered to the land forces of the Marathas. That 
of B-inkot, known as Fort Victoria, at the mouth of the 
Siiwitri river, together with five villages was handed over to 
the English in perpetuity. The expedition had been entirely 
successful ; but the monsoon coming on James had to take 
shelter in Bombay, and further operations were deferred 
pending the arrival of additional forces under Admiral 
Watson and Colonel Clive. In the latter part of the year 
the reinforcements arrived. The force had been sent from 
England with the object of entering into alliance with the 
Marathas for the expulsion of the French from the dominions 
of the Nizc'im and the Nawab of the Carnatic. But the 
Bombay Government considered that the truce drawn up 
with the French at Madras precluded this employment of 
Clive's forces until the views of the home Government 
should be known. They therefore took the opportunity 
of sending an expedition to reduce Tulaji Angria at Gheria. 

Clive and Watson started in February 1/56. It was 
agreed that Gheria was to be handed over to the Manithns,. 
but the English determined to divide the prize-money 
amongst themselyes. Throughout the expedition there was 
a want of cordiahty between the English and their allies which 
might have endangered its success. It was enjoined upon 
Chve in the most emphatic manner by the Council in Bombay, 
that he was to make no terms with the Angrias. Tulaji, they 
wrote, was on a footing w^ith no prince in the known worlds 
but a pirate in wdiom no confidence could be put, who not only 
robbed and burnt the ships of all nations but even those of 

loG }[isT<ii;v OF Tin: liOMr.AY riJK.^'iDi-xrv. 

his own comitrymeii to wliom he had given passes. lie had 
caused the Company to keep up a fleet to protect their trade 
at a cost of more than .^'40,000 a year, and had destroyed 
innumerahle small vessels besides eleven ricli ones, the names 
•of which were given in the iustructions. On no account was 
Tulaji to be handed over to the Marathas Avho might let him 
g'o at some future time. 

The fort was homhardcd and taken. A shell hurstiug in 
the "Restoration," a British ship which Angria had seized, 
set her on fire ; and the flames spread to Angria's own fleet, 
which was totally destroyed. About .-€100,000 of prize- 
money was divided between the victors. But the Marathas 
secured Tulaji, and Mr. Bourchier waived his objection 
to that proceeding ou the condition that he shoidd never 
receive any territory within forty miles of the sea. The 
Marathas kept their word, and Tulaji died in captivity at 
Sholapur. The English wished to keep Gheria instead of 
B:inkot, but after prolonged negociations a treaty was con- 
cluded at Puna in October 1756 by ^Mr. John Spencer and 
]Mr. Thomas Byfield of the Bomhay Council by which Gheria 
Avas given up, but additional villages were ceded towards 
ilefrayiug the expense of maintaining Fort Victoria. Certain 
commercial ])rivileges were granted, and the Dutch were 
excluded from trade within the Maratha dominions. After 
the taking of Gheria AdmiraMVatson sailed to Madras, and 
<-'live reverted for a short time to the subordinate position of 
governor of Tort St. David. 

He was not to be left there long, and it is necessary for a 
moment to leave Bombay and follow him to the other side of 
India. Early in 17 j6 the great ]3engal Nawab Aliwardi 
Kh:in, who had steadfastly resisted the !Mar<itha invaders, not 
always without success had ])asscd away. He was succeeded 

Tui: KX(;iJsir axd the i'ije.vch. 157 

by his grandson SuiVij-ud-daula. The new Nawab was a 
mere boy, but at his early age lie was already an eastern 
despot of the worst type. lie was brought up with an ex- 
travagant idea of the wealth of the English, and he had for 
them an unbounded detestation. In the furious heat of June 
he invaded Calcutta. He overcame the resistance of the 
few who opposed him ; and placed in Avhat is known as the 
Black Hole of Calcutta a hundred and forty-six English 
men and women, of whom all but sixteen died in tlie course of 
the night. The event was a too ordinary one in Indian history 
to find mention in the annals of native historians. The 
English presidency in Bengal was for a time destroyed. But 
the triumph of Suraj-ud-daula was not to last long. Early 
in 1757 Clive reached Calcutta, cannonaded the fort, and the 
English liag was once more flying over Fort William. The 
Nawab called on ^I. Bussy from Madras to helphiui drive out 
the English from Bengal. Clive anticipated the consent to 
this appeal by driving the Erencli out of that province. The 
English flag was })lanted at their settlement of Chnndanagar, 
and Clive remarked that his standards must advance 3'et fur- 
ther. In one short year after the horrors of the Black Hole 
Clive had v.'ith the aid of Mir Jafar, the commander of the 
Kawab's forces, won the battle of Plassey, and expelled the 
miserable Saraj-ud-daula from his capital of Murshidabad. 
The tyrant was killed by Miran, the son of Mir Jafar, 
and Mir Jiifar himself was placed on the throne. A 
hundred boats conveyed to Calcutta silver worth .iC800,00<> 
sterling. The battle of Plassey made the English practi- 
cally, if not in name, masters of Bengal, Baluir and Orissa. 
The legal possession was to come, not much later. At 
the time of the battle of Panipat Slnih x\lam the rightful 
heir to the throne of Babar fled to Bengal. He made a 


hopeless attempt to recover that province for himself, but 
was defeated by the English. He was allowed to return to 
Delhi after he had offered them the Diwani or financial 
management of Bengal. The arrangement was subsequently 
•accepted by Clive in 1765, the Company pledging itself to pay 
to the emperor an annual tribute of ^*300,000. The family 
of Mir Jcifar continued to hold the title of Naw^:ib N/izim of 
Bengal till 1883, but the power was soon separated from 
the title. Nor was the suzerainty of the emperor over the 
English regarded by them any further than was convenient. 
Shah Alam turned to the Marathas to seat him on his 
throne, and in 1771 Mahadaji Sindia placed him with great 
f)omp on the seat of his ancestors. But it was one thing for 
the English to pay tribute to the emperor and another to 
pay it in his name for the benefit of the Marathas ; and 
Sindia was bitterly disappointed to find that that was not a 
condition of the bargain. He had hoped to rule Bengal in 
■the name of the emperor ; he had only put a large sum into 
the hands of the English merchants. 

CHve had conquered Bengal and driven the French out of 
it. But his services to his country were not yet ended. 
Under his directions Colonel Forde defeated the French in 
successive actions in Madras and the Northern Sirkars in 
1759, and in the next year Colonel, afterwards Sir Eyre, 
Coote defeated them at Wandiwas. Before the year was out 
Pondicheri capitulated and its fortifications were razed to 
the ground. With supreme indifference to the claims of the 
Nizam Clive obtained from the puppet emperor Shah Alam 
ii firman conferring the Northern Sirkars to the Enghsh. 
The treatment by the Madras Government of this arrange- 
ment will be seen later on. In the same year a Dutch fleet 
of seven ships appeared in the Hughli and began to seize 


English vessels. The English promptly resisted, and the 
Dutch were signally defeated and all their ships taken. But 
they had landed 700 Europeans and 800 Malays who made 
their way to their settlement at Chinsura. Colonel Forde 
asked for instructions. Clive w^s playing cards when the 
letter reached him. He wrote on one of the cards, " Fight 
them at once, I will send you the order in council tc-morrow." 
Before the order in council reached Forde he had engaged and 
defeated the enemy ; and the Dutch w^ere subsequently only 
permitted to keep 125 Europeans in Bengal for the protection 
of their factories, 

Clive' s work of conquest was done. But the country was 
full of marauding bands of jManithas and Afghans, and it was 
heyond the power of the Company to arrange for a satis- 
factory settlement. Clive therefore proposed to Pitt that 
the nation should take over the sovereignty of Bengal, 
Bahar and Orissa. The proposal was rejected, and the de- 
<^ision not altered until, a century later, there arose a terrible 
crisis which might have wiped out British rule altogether 
from India. But Chve left the Company a power more solid 
in its foundations than that of the Moghal empire before its 
■decadence began. 

Terrible was the grief in Maharashtra when the fatal news 
arrived from Prinipat. The first despatch was written in 
the figurative style not uncommonly used in India when 
caution is necessary. *• Two pearls," it said, "have been dis- 
solved, 27 goldmohurs lost, and of the silver and copper the 
amount cannot be added up." From these words the Peshwa 
learnt the fate of Sidashiwa Kao his brother, and Wishwas 
Rao his son, together with that of the officers and army. One 
of the first of the fugitives who confirmed the news was 
Balaji Janardin, nephew of Sidashiwa Rao, who was afterwards 


famous as Nana FarnaAvis. The Pcslnva never recovered the 
shock. It affected his mind and Ids constitution rapidly 
sank. lie died at the temple of Parhati, a building which he 
had erected a short distance from Puna. It commands a 
beautiful view of the city and surrounding country, and from 
it the last of the Peshwas was to witness the defeat of his 
army by a British force. BaU'iji Rao had done something 
to improve the condition of his subjects, and ^laratha power 
under him had reached its zenith. But it received a shock 
at Pcinipat which negatived the possibility of Hindu supre- 
macy over India. vStill the Marathas remained for a time 
the most powei-ful people in the country. 

The empire of Delhi had passed away. All that remained 
to Shah Alain were a few small districts in the neighbourhood 
of his capital. The Panjab had fallen into the hands of the 
Afghan Ahmad x^bdali. The Eohillas, or descendants ot" 
former Afghan settlers in Bengal, were powerful in Ilohilkand. 
Oudh nominally a viceroyalty of the em])ire was really an 
independent kingdom, and a close ally of the British. In 
the name of jNIir J afar the Company was supreme in Bengal, 
Bahar and Orissa. The Rajput states had long separated from 
the emperor, and though the Marathas had imposed upon 
them demands for chauth they were irregularly paid. The 
territories of the Niziim oi Subadar of the Deccan were 
considerably reduced in extent. The French power was 
broken, that of the Dutch destroyed, and the Portuguese 
reduced to insignificance. In the short space of time 
from 1755 to l/Gl the English, from merchants who 
maintained a struggle for existence on the coast, suddenly 
found their sti-enoth recognised, and their alliance courted 
by ])owers who had regarded them with contempt. In 
Bengal they were on the high road to the conquest of 


India. But as yet in the West they possessed only the 
island of Bombay, Fort Victoria with a few villages at 
Bankot, and the fort or castle of Surat, of which they 
obtained independent possession after a desperate struggle in 
1759. The Manithas held the Konkan, the Deccan, and 
•Guzarat, with claims over Kathiawar, Malwa, Khandesh and 
Barar, Bijapur and most of Aurangabad, and the old Hindu 
kingdom of Tanjawar (Tanjor). Besides this their demands 
for chauth extended over the greater part of India, and they 
held the town and fort of Katak in Orissa. But Sindia and 
Holkar, the Gaikwar and the Raja of Barar were serious 
rivals to the power of the Peshwa. The most important, how- 
ever, of the late political changes was the fact that it was to be 
the English and not the French who were to rule in India. 

The directors in England of the East India Company 
looked wdth no favour on any territorial acquisition. In 1763 
they wrote to their representatives in India a despatch which 
lifter enumerating their present possessions went on to say : — 
** The protection of them is easily within the reach of our 
power, and they may easily support each otlier without 
any country alliance whatever. If we pass these bounds we 
shall be led on from one acquisition to another till we shall 
iind no security but in the subjection of the whole, which by 
dividing our force would lose us the whole, and end in our 
extirpation from Hindustan." 


( 162 ) 


ON the death of Balaji Rao shortly after the shock of 
the terrible news from Panipat in 1761 where his 
eldest son perished, he was succeeded as Peshwa by his 
second son, Mahdu Rao, a boy seventeen years old. Mahdu 
Rao was invested with the insignia of office by the descen- 
dant of Shiwaji, who was a state prisoner at Satara. Raghoba, 
the brother of the late Pesh(\'a, assumed the regency, and 
created general discontent by his arbitrary and high-handed 
proceedings. The young Peshwa was a boy of spirit and 
determination, and he attempted to enforce his claims to a 
share in the administration. He showed his good sense by 
selecting as one of his officers Balaji Jamirdan Bhanu or 
Ncina Farnawis, the future great Maratha minister. Raghoba, 
ambitious and unscrupulous, turned to two powers for assist- 
aace in his schemes. The Government of Bombay, under 
Mr. Crommehn, was in the hands of men with clear heads 
and stout arms. Their gallantry had lately enabled their 
ally the SiJi of Janjira to hold out against a combined attack 
of Marathas and Portuguese. They hoisted the British flag 
at Janjira and compelled the Marathas to respect it. Stimu- 
lated by the magnificent success of their countrymen in Ben- 
gal, and beginning to feel something of their own strengtli, 
they cast longing eyes on the island of Salscttc which lay 
between Bombay and the mainland. The Marathas had con- 
quered it from the Portuguese and the English thought that 


Raghoba might hand it over to them as the price of their aid. 
Raghoba offered to cede territory of greater value iu Guzurat, 
hut that was not what the Company wanted and negociations 
for the time fell through. With the Niz:im his overtures 
were more successful. The Nizam was a far-seeing politician. 
The flower of the Maratha army had been destroyed at 
Panipat, the nation was being torn asunder by rivals for power 
at home. There could not be a more favourable opportunity 
for restoring the Muhammadan power in the Deccan. The 
Nizam at once sent an army to support Raghoba, and the new 
allies attacked the forces of his nephew Mahdu Rao. With 
remarkable patriotism the young Peshwa grasped the fact 
that dissension between himself and Raghoba meant ruin for 
both. He gave himself up to his uncle who placed him 
in confinement, and the Nizam's forces were for the present 
withdrawn. The Nizam was only awaiting a more suitable 
occasion, and he thought that he had found one in the 
renewal of dissension in 1762. He led his army to Puna, and 
the capital of the Peshwa was plundered and burnt. But 
the Marathas, indignant at his presumption, threw aside 
their mutual differences. Raghoba released his nephew, and 
the Gaikwar and Holkar brought up their forces. The 
Nizam's army was driven ofP from Puna, and it sustained a 
crashing defeat at Aurangabad in 1763. 

While the Marathas were thus occupied in the Deccan there 
had arisen a new power in Mysur which threatened to be- 
come more formidable in India than that created by Shiwaji. 
HydarNaik was a man of the same type as the Maratha chief. 
He could neither write nor read, but he was gifted with great 
physical strength and activity, and he possessed a commanding 
nature. He had been a sepoy in the battalions of the French. 
Pie left their service and gathered round him a body of men 


who pledged themselves to follow him on condition of 
sharing equally in his plunder. With these retainers he 
served under the Hindu Raja of Mysur at the siege of Trichi- 
nopoli. He was to receive a certain sum of money for each 
soldier and a gift for each man wounded. He doubled the 
amount thus due to him by making false muster-rolls and 
bandaging sound limbs. With Hydar, as with Shiwaji, 
money was power. The Hindu Raja rapidly became one of 
the faineant kings that sat on Indian thrones. As Hydar's 
power grew he dispensed with his nominal master and 
assumed the title of king. He was to prove himself one of 
the most powerful antagonists that crossed swords with the 
English in India. But his first opponents were the 
Marathas. He had gradually encroached on their territories, 
including the fort of Dhiirwar, and they were extremely 
jealous of his power. In 1765, the young Peshwa led an 
army against the upstart adventurer and defeated him in a 
severe campaign. Ilydar had to release the Mariitha districts 
that he had occupied and pay for the cost of the war. 

There now arose a strangely involved series of alliances and 
confederacies, the threads of which are inextricably entangled 
with the histories both of Bombay and Madras. The 
English, the Marathas, the Nizam, and Hydar Ali were 
constantly making engagements with and against each other. 
Besides these factors in the history of the epoch, there was 
also the party of Raghoba which was in rivalry with that of 
the Peshwa. There were further the great houses of the 
Gaikwcir, Sindia, Holkar, and Bhonsle of Banir, who were now 
practically sovereign princes, and who made war or friend- 
ship with one another, or any one else, just as it might suit 
their convenience. The permanent aim of each was his 
own supremacy. Common danger might for a time bind some 


of them together ; with the need for union the coalition invari- 
ably ended. In name the Manitha states continued to be mem- 
bers of one empire. They all acknowledged the supremacy of 
the Raja of Satara, whose chief interest in life was to watch 
the movements of dancing-girls in his state prison. All too 
recognised the authority of the Peshwa, the only difficulty 
being to decide whether the youthful heir to the throne, or his 
uncle Raghoba, had the higher claim to the authority vested 
in that office. 

To follow out the whole cource of this constantly shifting 
drama would be tedious and useless. Some of the more 
important scenes only need be lightly sketched. The 
emperor had conferred on the Company the Northern Sirkars 
as a free gift. They had belonged to the Nizam of the 
Deccan, and the claims of this potentate Clive treated with 
contemptuous indifference. The Government of Madras, 
ever distinguished for weakness and incapacity, adopted 
a contrary policy. They agreed to pay the Nizam a 
considerable tribute, and concluded with him an offensive 
and defensive alliance on account of this territory. The 
Court of Directors commented upon the feebleness and ab- 
surdity of this treaty ; but it was too late, and its disastrous 
consequences had to follow. The Nizam chose to make war 
upon Hydar Ali. The Madras Government joined in the 
struggle and, in the words of the Directors, plunged into such 
a labyrinth of difficulties that extrication from them seemed 
almost impossible. The campaign opened favourably for the 
English. Hydar, in anticipation of an alliance between the 
Marathas and the Company, offered terms. But the Madras 
Government made such inflated demands that they were 
rejected with scorn. The fortunes of war turned in Hydar's 
favour, and the Nizam who had provoked the war changed 


sides to the stronger. Hydar again made proposals for 
peace, pointing out that his overtures had been ah'eady once 
rejected. The Council was irresolute and incapable, and made 
no definite reply. Hydar marched 130 miles in three days 
and a half ; and, camping beneath the walls of Madras, had 
the Council at his mercy. In fear and trembling they 
executed a treaty in April 1769 by which mutual conquests 
were restored ; the English were saddled with the expenses 
of the whole w^ar, and an offensive and defensive alliance was 
made with the Mysur chief. So ended the first Mysur war, 
and the prestige of the English sensibly deteriorated. The 
best excuse that can be made for the action of the Madras 
Council was that put forward by themselves, that they made 
peace because they had no money to make war. No sooner 
was peace concluded with the English than Hydar turned 
his arms against the Marathas, But these he found more 
formidable antagonists. His army was defeated with terrible 
slaughter in 1771, and he was pursued to Saringapatam and 
besieged there. In virtue of his treaty, Hydar called on the 
English for aid. He offered j^lOO,000 for an English brigade, 
but his request was unheeded in Madras, and he threatened 
as an alternative to call in the French. Hydar never forgave 
what he termed the treacherous and cowardly abandonment 
of him by the English. The English had undoubtedly 
broken their word. But the treaty had been forced upon 
them at the point of the sword, and the disgrace was less 
in breaking than in making the agreement. 

During the Mysur war the Bombay Government had sent 
an envoy to Puna in the person of Mr. Mostyn in 1768. He 
was instructed both to ascertain the Peshwa*s views and, 
by encouraging domestic dissensions, to prevent the Mara- 
thas joining Hydar and the Nizam. As to their views, the 


jMaratha court candidly stated that they meant to be 
-guided by circumstances. But Mostyn's task of fomenting 
'dissensions was a sinecure. Ragbomith Rao again rebelled 
against his nephew, this time unsuccessfully, and was con- 
fined as a prisoner at Puna. Wars, plots, counter-plots, 
•cabals, and intrigues between the Peshwa and the great 
JMaratha houses w^ere the order of the day. But young as 
he was the Peshw^a Avas able, by strength of mind and ability, 
lo hold his own ; and the attack by Hydar created a pow^erful 
if evanescent union of the Maratha houses. Neither, however, 
were dissensions at home nor wars with Hydar sufficient to 
employ the restless Marathas. Undiscouraged by the defeat 
•at Panipat, Mahadaji Sindia, with some help from the house 
of Holkar, was busy at Delhi propping up on his crumbling 
throne the miserable successor of Aurangzib, and trying to 
Tule Hindustjin in his name. 

As a ruler, Mahdu Rao Peshwa is entitled to much praise. 
He strove for justice and equity, and in a rough age sup- 
ported the weak against the strong, raid put down oppressors 
with a firm hand. But it cannot be repeated too often that 
the work of a benevolent despot is useless. Something more 
is needed for good government than the will of one man, 
whose good deeds may be swept away by his successor. A 
system is needed and not a person ; and that system has 
reached India from without in the shape of British law. 

Mahdu Rao died of consumption in November 1772 at 
the early age of 28. He left no children and his brother 
Narayan Rao came to the throne. Raghoba had been released 
"^by Mahdu Rao before his death. But he was again made pri- 
soner at the instance of the new Peshwa's ministers Sakharam 
B;ipu, an old and tried officer, and Nana Farndwis who was 
mow rising into fame. The new^ Peshwa had not long to 


enjoy his power. In August 1773 a mutiny took place 
amongst his soldiers, and he was himself put to death hy a 
man whom he had once ordered to he flogged. The credit 
of causing this murder was generally, though unjustly, given 
to Raghoba. Eaghoba was present when it took place and in- 
terfered to prevent it. He had, however, previously given a 
written order that !Narayan Eao should he '* seized" and this 
had been altered to "killed'' (dhaniwe to marawe). There- 
was now no heir to the Peshwaship, and Raghoba assumed the 
title as the rightful successor to his nephew. But a posthu- 
mous son was born to Narayan Rao in April 1774, and was 
installed as Peshwa when he was forty days old. Raghoba 
declined to acknowledge his legitimacy, and two great 
factions sprang up, that of Raghoba who called himself 
the Peshwa, and that of Nana Farnawis and other ministers 
w^ho represented the cause of the son of Narayan Rao. 
While these parties were engaged in watching each others' 
movements, Hydar Ali plundered the Southern Maratha 
provinces unchecked. Raghoba sought aid from Sindia and 
Holkar, and again entered into negociations with the English. 
The Government of Bombay were ready enough to nego- 
ciate. They were bent upon securing Salsette, Karanja, and 
other islands near Bombay. They were, moreover, fully 
supported in this attempt to gain thus much extension of 
territory by the Directors at home. In accordance with the 
Court's instructions Mr. Mostyn had again been sent on an> 
embassy to Puna, wbere he arrived shortly before the death 
of Mahdu Rao Peshwa in November 1771. The deliberate 
object of this mission was to find means of obtaining 
possession of the islands, the just importance of which 
to Bombay was indisputable. Bombay is the finest 
harbour in India. It was alreadv becomino; f^imous for 


its dockyard, and it was essential for its protection that 
the English should he the sole possessors of its shores and 
islands. Nor were the designs of the Borahay authorities 
confined to Salsette and its neighbourhood. They had 
already attained the lion's share of the sovereignty of Surat. 
Surat was paramount over Broach, and the Nawab of Broach 
disputed certain claims which were made on him. In 1771 
an expedition was sent to enforce them which was not 
altogether successful ; but further operations were for a time 
deferred by the arrival of the Nawab in Bombay. The 
English insisted upon terms which were by no means to the 
Nawab's taste ; and though he signed the treaty he returned 
to Broach only to grossly insult the chief of the English 
factory. This could not be tolerated. A force was sent, and 
Broach taken by storm on the 18th November 1772, the very 
day of Mahdu Rao's death. But the brave and accomplished 
General David Wedderburn was killed, when directing the 
attack, by a shell shot from the walls of the city. 

Mr. Mostyn's first business at Puna was to negociate an 
exchange of Broach for Salsette. But nothing definite was 
decided, and upon Narayan Kao's murder in August 1773, 
having reason to believe that Eaghoba had fallen in his wars 
with the Nizam, the English determined to possess themselves 
by force of the long-coveted islands. But Eaghoba was 
not dead, and his applications for aid were welcomed. After 
a prolonged negociation the Bombay Council, under the 
presidency of Mr. Hornby, offered in September 1 774 to assist 
Eaghoba with all the troops that they could spare which, 
including some artillery, amounted to about 2,500 men, on 
condition that he should advance 15 or 20 lakhs of rupees, 
aei 50,000 or ^200,000, and cede in perpetuity Salsette and 
the other islands with Bassein and its dependencies. At 


this memorable meeting of the Council a doubt arose on 
an important subject. Hitherto the English settlements in 
India had been independent of each other. But in 1773 an 
Act of Parliament placed Bombay and Madras in subordina- 
tion to Bengal ; and the Governor of Bengal became the 
Governor-General of India. Peace or war could not be made 
without the concurrence of the Governor-General in council. 
But no intimation had reached Bombay of the arrival of the 
officers who had been sent out as the members of council ; 
and it was decided that Bombay might act on its own respon- 
sibility. But as before, Raghoba refused to give up Salsette 
or Bassein. He offered other concessions of very considerable 
value, and the Council were half disposed to accept them, when 
they received news which at once made them alter their minds. 
The Portuguese government had sent a strong expedition 
from Europe to recover these very islands together with Bassein 
on the mainland. Prompt measures were necessary. Would the 
Manitha officer at the fort of Thana, the chief town in Salsette, 
consent to be bribed ? ^Ir. Hornby offered one lakh. The 
officer required more, and the Council saw that nothing re- 
mained but to use force. By the middle of December 1774 
the Portuguese fleet was anchored off the mouth of the 
harbour, and in answer to the remonstrances of its com- 
mander at the aggressive policy of the English, batteries w^re 
opened upon Thcina. After one unsuccessful attempt, in which 
100 Europeans were killed or wounded, the fort was carried 
by assault; and, incensed at the loss that they had suffered, 
the soldiers put the greater part of the garrison to the sword. 
Among the English losses was Commodore Watson, a gallant 
and experienced officer. Colonel Keating was sent to take the 
fort of Warsowa on the north of Salsette ; and by New Year's 
day 1 775 the whole of Salsette and Karanja were reduced. 


The English were now in a position to make what terms 
they pleased with Eiaghoba. He had been negociating with 
Sindia and Holkar without much success, and he now pro- 
ceeded to Guzarat to obtain the aid of Gowind Rao Gaikw<ir, 
who was at war with his brother Fatte Sing at Baroda. In 
anticipation of the conclusion of a treaty with him the 
English despatched a force to Guzarat in February 1775 
under Colonel Keating, with instructions to aid the Peshwa, as 
they called Raghoba, against the ministerial forces. He was 
in sore need of their help. He had been defeated by the 
ministerial army and had fled to Kathiawar, whence he sailed 
to Surat, where he was joined by the British forces. It is 
difficult to see what value Governor Hornby and Colonel 
Keating could now set upon his aid, or how he could expect 
to fullil his promises. But a treaty was signed at Surat by 
which Bassein and the islands were ceded in perpetuity to- 
gether with Jambosi and Ulpar in Guzcinit, the revenue of 
which with other assignments amounted to over 19 lakhs 
(c€l90,000). A junction was effected near Cambay with 
what remaimed of Raghoba's army, and in accordance with 
his wish the forces marched northwards towards Ahmadabad. 
The Bombay Council, however, expressed in the strongest 
terms their opinion that the destination of the forces should 
be altered to Puna. Their course was accordingly changed, 
and after ten days' march in the new direction, on the 13th May 
1775, they were suddenly attacked near a village called Aras 
while marching through a narrow road between two high 
milk-bush hedges. The attack was resisted with spirit, and 
the enemy three times driven back with great slaughter. The 
British troops were fighting with splendid courage when 
some one blundered ; the wrong word of command was given 
and an unintelligible panic ensued, the officers deserted by their 


(roops dying where they stood. But in spite of this deplor- 
able incident, which Colonel Keating frankly described in his 
despatch, the enemy, as they themselves admitted, sustained 
a severe defeat. On the 10th of June another opposing force 
Avas beaten off with greater success and compelled to throw 
its guns into the Narbada, Colonel Keating having grasped 
the secret of success against Manithas and commenced the 
attack. Guzarat was now cleared of the enemy ; and an agree- 
ment was made which patched up the quarrel between Gowind 
Gaikwcir and his brother Fatte Sing, and united them both 
to the cause of Raghoba. To the English was granted addi- 
tional territory with a revenue of 3 lakhs (5^30,000). Nor 
were the operations confined to land. The Manitha navy 
consisted of six men-of-war mounting from 26 to 46 guns 
each, and ten smaller armed vessels. This fleet was met at sea 
by Commodore John Moor m the *' Revenge" frigate, and 
the " Bombay " grab. Moor instantly attacked the Manitha 
fleet which set sail and made off; but he singled out their 
largest ship the '' Shamsher Jang" or Sword of War, and 
at last brought him to action. After an engagement of three 
hours the ^' Shamsher Jang" blew up. 

Thus Raghoba's prospects in a few months rose from the 
lowest to the highest, while those of the young Peshwa seemed 
correspondingly gloomy. Great promises were made by 
Ncina Farnawis to Sindia and Holkar to keep them on his 
side ; while the Nizam took advantage of the civil war to 
extort a cession of nearly 18 lakhs of annual revenue. But 
Raghoba was personally unpopular and his alliance with the 
English regarded with dislike and distrust. 

The Bombay Council had held that they were at liberty 
to act independently of the Governor- General and Council 
at Calcutta. The Council were of a different opinion. 

riE^T MA RATH A AVAR. 173 

When they heard of the proceedings undertaken by the 
English in Bombay they peremptorily required that 
the forces should be withdrawn to garrison in whatsoever 
state affairs might be, unless safety was endangered by an 
instant retreat. " You have imposed on yourselves," they 
wrote, ** the charge of conquering the whole of the Maratha 
empire for a man who appears incapable of affording any 
effectual assistance in it." The w^ar was pronounced impolitic, 
dangerous, unauthorised and unjust. The despatch bore the 
signature of Warren Hastings. But bitter diversity reigned 
at the Council board, and at that time the great proconsul 
was hampered and shackled by his colleagues. His personal 
views were very different. The w^ar had been undertaken 
without sufficient definiteness of aim, but he held the capture 
of Salsette an act of necessity and good policy. But, as he 
himself says, he was not in a position to dictate, and all he 
could do was to qualify the order with some provisoes. 

The Bombay Government accordingly ordered a cessation 
of hostiUties and Colonel Keating and Raghoba encamped 
about twenty-five miles east of Surat. But they were bitterly 
indignant at the way in which they had been over-ruled. 
They sent a report to the supreme government defending 
their conduct, recapitulating their reasons, and dwelling on 
the shame and degradation of not fulfilling their solemn 
agreements. They also sent Mr. William Taylor, a member 
of their own Council, to Calcutta to advocate their cause. 
]\Ir. Taylor ably carried out his instructions. He had an un- 
usual knowledge of the real character of the Maratha empire. 
He represented that Parliament in arming the Council at 
Calcutta with controlling powers had no intention that the 
subordinate presidencies should be made to appear degraded 
and contemptible in the eyes of the native government. But 


in spite of the Governor-Gcnerars remonstrances the Council 
insisted upon exercising with the utmost indiscretion their 
new authority. If the Bomhay authorities had been rash 
it was not by timidity and caution that Bengal had been 
won. But the Calcutta Council oscillated between rashness 
and timidity in their Bombay policy, and threw the affairs 
of that presidency into confusion. One of the members, 
Mr. Francis, wrote that territorial acquisition on the West of 
India was inconsistent with the Company's true interest. 

Treating with contempt the spirited representations from 
Bombay, the Bengal Government sent one of their own 
officers. Colonel Upton, to make terms with the Marathas. 
His mild remonstrances were naturally taken for weakness, 
and the ministers made preposterous demands. Raghoba's 
cessions were to be void and llaghoba himself given up. 
Colonel Upton hereupon considered his task at an end. 
Advice from Bombay had been rejected with scorn at Cal- 
cutta, but suggestions from their own officer were received in 
a different spirit. In February 1776 the Governor- General 
and Council determined to support Raghoba's cause with vigour, 
and sent troops and treasure to Bombay. But before the letter 
could reach Colonel Upton, he had on the 1st March signed 
the treaty of Purandhar which confirmed most of the cessions 
to the English, and allowed Salsette to be retained or exchanged 
for other districts at the pleasure of the Governor-General 
and Council. The treaty of Surat however was formally 
annulled ; Raghoba's army was to be disbanded and himself 
to reside as a pensioner at Kopargaum near Ahmadnagar. 

It was impossible that this arrangement could secure 
peace. The Enghsh at Bombay were intensely disgusted. 
They expressed their scorn that a British envoy should suffer 
the Maratha ministers to secure a peace, on the principle of 


Hydar Ali at Madras, by saying that in case of a renewal of 
the war they would carry fire and sword through all the 
Company's possessions. Mr. Hastings, though he disapproved 
of the treaty, was compelled to ratify it. Raghoba could not 
understand the nature of the interference from Bengal. He 
offered greater cessions than before, and wrote an appeal to 
the Court of Directors at home. The Court was in an 
unusually aggressive mood. In a despatch which reached 
Bombay in August 1776 they approved under every circum- 
stance of the treaty of Surat, and recommended that the 
Bombay Government should- retain possession of the districts 
ceded by it. Colonel Upton was after some time recalled to 
Bengal. Not at all to the liking of the Maratha ministers 
Mr. Mostyn returned to Puna, and negociations proceeded. 

The negociations were considerabl}- protracted. The 
kaleidoscopic politics at Puna were constantly changing. A 
rival to Nana Farnawis had sprung up in his cousin Moraba, 
and the latter had been joined by the veteran minister, 
Sakhuram Bapu, who was jealous of his young colleague's 
increasing influence. This party was supported by Holkar, 
and thus consolidated they deemed it advisable to forward their 
interests by appealing to Bombay to once more assist Raghoba. 

Thus the phase of affairs was greatly changed, and in 
October 1777 Mr. Hornby, the Governor of Bombay, re- 
corded in an able minute on Maratha affairs that ^'Tliey were 
fast verging to a period which must compel the English nation 
to take some active and decisive part in them or relinquish for 
ever all hopes of bettering their own situation on the West of 
India." In truth, as Clive had said after the the capture of 
Chandarnagar, the English standards could not wait where 
they were. But an event now occurred which vastly accele- 
rated the inevitable interference. 


Undefined as their views might be concerning their own 
ultimate position in India, the English were quite clear on one 
point that other European nations should not predominate. 
The British empire "was undergoing a formidable crisis. A 
miserable war was being waged with the American colonists, 
who were supported by the French. Without alUes, England 
was shortly to carry on a struggle with France, Spain and 
Holland ; and the British' flag w^as with difficulty to protect 
the English channel. The course of events was not unforeseen 
even in India. Fortunately in Warren Hastings India possessed 
a ruler keen to see and prompt to act. Some months before war 
was declared between England and France a French adven- 
turer named St. Lubin landed at Chdul and proceeded to 
Puna. He had already imposed on the Government of Madras 
as a man of quality. He even subsequently deceived the 
French Government so far as to obtain from them an authority 
to proceed to India. He at once made offer of an alUance with 
Nana Farnawis on the part of France, He offered to bring 
2,500 Europeans for the support of the ministry and to raise 
and discipline 10,000 sepoys. Nana may or may not have 
been deceived as to the authenticity of his credentials and 
the genuineness of his pretensions to act for France ; but he 
thought him at all events a useful tool to be employed 
against the English. He hardly realised the danger to which 
he rendered himself liable by tbis choice of instruments. 

Hastings recognised the gravity of the situation and 
determined to strike the first blow. The only difference 
between the new and old policies w\'is that Raghoba was 
to be considered Regent on behalf of the young Peshwa. 
News had arrived of the declaration of war with France, an 
event that was not likely at such a juncture to occasion regret 
at Bombay or Calcutta. Hastings resolved to support the 

FIRr^r MAE AT II A WAR. 177 

Eombay Government with a large body of troops, and six: 
native regiments with artillery and cavalry marched across 
India under Colonel Leslie, a feat never before attempted by 
a British force. At the same time an alliance was made 
with the great Maratha Raghoji Bhonsle of Barar. The 
French factories in Bengal were seized, and orders sent to 
Madras that Poudicheri was to be instantly occupied. 

On November 23rd 1778 the British troops at Bombay 
crossed the harbour to Panvvel. They were commanded by 
Colonel Egerton, a man wdiose weak health unfitted him for 
active service, and who was totally unacquainted with Indian 
warfare. He had on a former occasion been set aside in 
favour of Colonel Keating ; but at this juncture Mr. Hornby 
most unfortunately thought that it was his due to be given the 
command. The expedition was accompanied by Mr, Carnac 
of the Bombay Council, Mr. Mostyn, whose services would 
have been invaluable, having just died. The expedition was a 
miserable failure. Colonel Egerton and Mr. Carnac wasted 
time in petty disagreements ; and it was not for a month 
that the army, about 2,500 strong, reached Khundalla at 
the top of the Bhor Ghat, a distance from Panwel of some 
forty miles. Thence the advance was slower. On January 
9th 1779 they arrived at Talegaum, sixteen miles from Puna. 
A force of 50,000 Marathas disputed their advance, and 
clouds of horsemen harassed their camp. The hearts of their 
leaders failed them. The guns were thrown into a tank, the 
stores burnt, and a retreat commenced. On the 11th, at 
AVargaum, they were surrounded. On the 12th they were 
attacked. But the soldiers were more valiant than their 
commanders. Splendidly led by Captain Hartley, his men — 
Europeans and sepoys alike— fought with steadiness and en- 
thusiasm. The next day the attack was again withstood, 


('aptain Hartley sliowing himself the life and soul of the- 
force. But the army got into confusion with its baggage ; 
many European officers 'vvere killed, and a large number of 
sepoys deserted. Further retreat -was deemed impracticable, 
llaghoba, seeing how things were going, had already given 
l)imself up to Sindia, and the English came to terms with that 
chieftain, who acted as representative of the Maraihas. The 
army was allowed to depart, but an unconditional surrender 
was made of all acquisitions obtained since 1773. The 
Bombay Council ignored this shameful convention. They 
recorded their sense of its disgraceful nature by dismissing Mr, 
Carnac, Colonels Egerton and Cock burn ; v^hile, for his 
sj)lendid gallantr}', Captain Hartley ^vas promoted to the 
rank of Lieutenant- Colonel. 

The Bombay Government had failed. They had attempted 
a great task Avithout counting the cost. Their irritation at the 
authority exercised over them from Calcutta had actuated 
them with the desire of showing what they could do without 
the assistance that Avas coming from Bengal. They had learnt 
the lesson ; and though humbled by their misfortunes, their 
army defeated, their treasury empty, and their reputation 
dim.medjthey set to work under the firm and able leadership of 
Governor Hornby to retrieve their fortune. This admirable 
spirit was met by Warren Hastings with the treatment that it 
deserved. He deprecated the expression of any want of con- 
fidence in the Bombay authorities, and preferred to incite 
them to fresh exertion for the retrieval of their affairs, and to 
arm them with means adequate to the end. 

The Bengal forces, commanded by Colonel Leslie, had pro- 
crastinated. Hastings at once superseded him by a dashing 
officer, Colonel Goddard ; but Leslie died before Goddard could 
relieve him. Goddard soon showed what stuff he was made of. 



He marched from BaiiJalkand to Surat, 300 miles, in twenty 
days, an achievement ^Yhich critics in England spoke of as a 
frantic military exploit. The Bombay Government expressed 
their gratitude for his activity by offering him a seat in their 
Council. Mr. Hastings' instructions to Goddard were that 
he should negociate a new treaty -with the Marathas on the 
basis of the treaty of Purandhar, ^vith an additional article 
excluding the French from the Maratha dominions. Nana 
Farnawis dalUed ^vith these proposals, and vouchsafed no 
reply unUl October 1779. Reports -were then current of an 
alliance between the Niz:im, Ilydar Ali, and the Manithas, 
who were binding each other to simultaneous attacks on the 
Fnglish settlements in Bombay, Madras and Bengal. Then 
the Manitha minister demanded the relinquishment of 
Salsette, and the abandonment of Raghoba who had thrown 
himself on English protection. There was no alternative 
but to recommence the war, and the campaign opened in 
Guziirdt. At the beginning of 1780 Goddard occupied the 
Peshwa's districts in that ])rovince, and in February of that 
year he made an alliance with Fatte Sing, the brother and 
rival of Gowind Gaikwar, and proceeded to take Ahmadabad. 
The wall was breached ; the Bombay grenadiers rushed into 
the opening ; and, in spite of a determined resistance bv the 
garrison, which did not cease tiU 300 of their num^ber lay 
dead, tliey nmde good their entrance. 

Mah'idaji Sindia and Holkar uow advanced, and well-nigh 
wore out Goddard's patience, first by empty ncgociatiouF, 
and, when these came to nothing, by evading all his attempts 
to bring on a general action. He suggested to the Governor- 
General the advisability of detailing a force into Malwa to 
draw them off in that direction, and so leave his divi- 
sion free to advance into the Konkan. He had already 


sent Colonel Hartley to deal with the Marathas -who 
were active on the borders of Salsette, and Avho con- 
stantly annoyed the post newly established by the English at 
Kjilyan under Captain Campbell. The result was most 
successful. Captain Popham, the officer selected for this 
employment, crossed the Jumna and carried on a brilliant 
campaign. In August, with equal daring and skill, he cap- 
tured the celebrated fortress of Gwjilior, hitherto considered 
to be impregnable, while a series of dashing and for the most 
part successful engagements took place in the Konkan. An 
attempt to take the two strong forts of Malangaiir or Bhau 
Malan — now kno^^n from their fanciful shape as the Cathedral 
Rocks — by Captain Alington partially succeeded. The lower 
fort was captured, but the upper, an absolutely perpendicular 
rock, defied all efforts to take it. 

During the monsoon the Bombay Government had time to 
consider their position. They were in great difficulties for 
want of funds, for which they had looked to Bengal. But 
in lieu of funds came despatches informing them that the 
threatened invasion of Ilydar had swept over Madras. The 
Mysur ruler, encouraged by French promises, and his troops 
drilled by French officers, was stimulated in his disputes with 
Madras by the Marathas at Puna. He was ready to accept 
their help in his crusade against the European settlers ; but 
he meant when he had disposed of the English to make 
short work of the I^Iarathas also. France and England were 
again at war, and there was every possibility of a naval 
attack upon IJombay. The Bengal Government could give 
no further assistance. '* We have no resources," says 
Governor Hornby in his minute of the 1st August, "but 
such as we may find in our own efforts.'* Whatever brave 
men could do they did. They raised ten lakhs of rupees by 


the sale of copper in their warehouses, they managed to 
negociate loans, and they anticipated the Marathas in the 
collection of their own revenues. 

The master mind of Hastings perceived that the new 
struggle with Mysur presented a more formidable danger 
than immediately pressed on the English from the Marathas. 
His plans regarding the Maratha em])ire were for the time 
set aside, when they seemed, bat for this iiUerraption, not 
unlikely to be crowned with success. He set himself to 
break up the coufederacy. He detached the Nizam from it 
by telling him that the emperor of Delhi had granted 
to Hydar the territories which the Nizam ruled as the 
Moghal viceroy of the Deccan. By protracted negocia- 
tions he coutrived to obtain the neutrality of the Bhonsle 
Ilaja of BarAr. The newer and more formidable danger 
rendered it necessary to make peace with the Pcshwa, but 
not peace at any price ; at all extremities there must be 
no peace not accompanied with honour. With this 
object in view the Maratha war was vigorously continued. 
Towards the end of 1780 Croddard took IJassein, which 
fortified by the Portuguese possessed unusual strength, while 
Hartley, after covering the siege by six weeks' incessant 
fighting, repulsed a bold attack of 20,000 Marathas and 
killed their commander. After the siege the British forces 

The Governor-General was anxious that overtures for peace 
should come from the Pcshwa. He suggested through 
Mudaji Bhonsle, who had succeeded his father Baghoji as 
Kaja of Barar, and who consented to become a mediator, 
certain conditions which he would accept if the Peshwa's 
Government Avould enter upon an offensive and defensive 
alliance with the Company against Hydar and the French. 


But Oil the news that came from Madras Mudaji declined to 
continue his friendly offices except on terms that could not 
possibly be accepted. The news was most alarming- Sir 
Hector Munro commanded one force, Colonel Baillie another. 
Instead of uniting and presenting a formidable front to Hydar, 
they suffered him to attack them separately. ^ Baillie's army, 
after a brave defence, was almost totally destroyed, the remnant 
owing their lives to the intervention of Hydar's French 
officers. Munro v/as within hearing of the cannonade. He 
abandoned his equipage, destroyed his stores, threw his 
guns into a tank, and fled in confusion to Madras. It 
was a great triumph for Hydar, who decorated his palace 
at Saringapatam with pictures of the carnage of one English 
army and the flight of another. The English empire in the 
south-east of India was within immediate danger of annihihi- 
tion. But Hastings w\as equal to the emergency. He sus- 
pended the incapable Governor of Madras, and sent the 
veteran soldier. Sir Eyre Coote, to take command of the 
army. He soon gave a different character to the operations. 

Goddard now considered that an advanced movement, 
threatening Puna, would be likely to bring about the Governor- 
General's object. He overrated his ability to menace in 
sufficient strength. He occupied the Bhor Ghat, and his 
troops were encamped at Khandiilla where the British had 
been quartered three years before. He thence sent proposals 
to the Puna ministers for defence and alHance. But Hydar 
was at that time triumphant. Nana Farnawis judged him to 
be more powerful than the Company, and he plainly hinted 
that he preferred Hydar's friendship to that of the English. 
It was useless to attempt a treaty with a man in this frame 
of mind. But the Manithas were not content with refusing 
terms. Thc}^ put forth all their strength, and sixty thou- 


•sand troops Avere in readiness to destroy the Bribisli army. 
It was clear that Goddard's movement had failed. The 
Bombay Government recognised the fact, and Goddard pre- 
pared to obey their earnest request that he would withdraw 
his troops. On the 15th of April a convoy under Colonel 
Browne, wdiich had fought its way with extreme bravery from 
Panwel joined his army, and the united forces withdrew 
to.vards that town. The movement was conducted with 
great skill. The enemy swarmed on every side and gave 
the English no rest. The whole rotreat was in fact one pro- 
tracted battle. Goddard reached Panwel in eight days. He 
lost in his retreat 461 in killed and wounded of whom eighteen 
were European officers. lie had extricated himself with 
-credit from the dangerous position in which his rashness 
had placed him, but the ^larathas considered the operations 
•one of their chief victories. The army after halting at Pan- 
wel was quartered at Kalvan for the rains. 

The tide now altogether turned in Madras. Sir Eyre Cootc 
had obtained a magnificent success over Ilydar at Porto 
Novo on July 1st, and with a loss of only 300 destroyed 
10,000 of his men. In September he inflicted another ter- 
ribly severe defeat upon him at Sholinghar, and the campaign 
was brought to a successful close. The English being at Avar 
with Holland, an attack was made on the Dutch settlement of 
Negapatam ; and the garrison, which numbered upwards of 
6,500 men, a force greatly exceeding that of the besiegers, 
^capitulated on November 12th. In ]Mal\va too Captain 
Popham's successes had been followed up b}' Colonel Camac ; 
and Sindia, effectually excluded from the Deccan, found him- 
self unable to continue operations. In October he made ad- 
vances for peace. Hastings secured the neutralit}^ of the R:ija 
-of Bar^r by purchasing his forces, and the Raja again oirered 


his services as a mediator. His offer ^vas accepted and he 
was despatched by the Governor-General to Sindia's camp. 
Negociations now opened on a wide basis and Hastings, at the 
beginning of 1782, deputed Mr. David A nderson, in the capacity 
of Agent to the Governor-General, to the camp of Mi'hadaji. 
Sindia. On the 17th May a treaty was concluded at Salbai- 
with the English by Sindia on behalf of the Peshwa, Nana 
Farnawis and the whole of the Manitha chiefs. The treaty 
was ratified b}^ Nana Farnawis, but not before he heard of 
ITydar's death in December 1782 ; nor was it finally exchanged 
until February 1783. By this treaty the English gave up' 
r»assein and other acquisitions made since the treaty of 
Purandhar, but they retained Salsette, Elephanta, Karanja, 
and Hog Islands, with absolute possession of the city of 
Broach. The English were to cease giving assistance to^ 
liaghoba, who was to be allowed 25,000 rupees a month if 
he would reside Avith Sindia. Hydar xVli was to be made to^ 
surrender his conquests from the English and their allies. 
No factories of any European nations besides the English' 
were to be allowed in the Maratha dominions, except those of 
the Portuguese already established. The territory of the 
Gaikw:ir family, as well as Gnzarat m general, was to remain? 
on the same footing as before the war. The English gave- 
Broach to Sindia in recognition of bis generous behaviour to^ 
their troops after the convention of Wargaum. Raghoba died 
shortly after the conclusion of the treaty. 

The first ^laratha war thus ended. The Bombay Govern- 
ment had undertaken it rashly, against a people who, if but 
united, could have driven all the English of Bombay with- 
ease into the sea. They had been hampered by ill- advised^ 
and inconsistent orders of the Bengal Council; but 
Mr. Hastings from the first personally held that their 

riR^T :.1AKATHA \\\,[. 185 

tletermiiiatioii to obtain Salsette and the other islands was 
indisputably right, and his views were subsequently shared by 
his Council and by the Court of Directors at home. They had 
entered upon the Avar as allies of Raghoba. His aid was- 
altogether inadequate ; his faction steadily lost popularity, and 
long before the close of the war the English were not allies 
but principals. Their generals had on one occasion disgraced 
the English name by a cowardly surrender. The Bombay 
Council dismissed their unworthy officers and another army 
was sent into the field. For funds they were to great extent 
dependent on Bengal. When supplies from that Government 
ceased, by stupendous efforts they raised them for themselves.. 
For seven years they had carried on the war Avith indomit- 
able fortitude and perseverance. The}- had been cheered by 
brilliant successes ; reverses had only excited them to 
renewed exertions. There was none of the cowardice and 
incompetence of Madras, none of the incredible meanness 
which in 1756 led the chiefs of the Bengal factory to* 
sail down the river and leave their colleagues to the terrors 
of the Black Hole. Mr. Hornby and his Council, in dangers 
and difficulties, displayed the undaunted courage of ^yarren 
Hastings himself. Dangers more formidable than that of the 
^lar.-ithas had compelled them to bring the war to a close before 
they had achieved the brilliant termination Avhich they hoped 
for. But on the eve of an alliance of the Peshwa with Hydar, 
backed up by French influence, against themselves, they won 
over their Manitha foes as allies against ^ly sur, and induced 
them to exclude the French from all their territories. They 
obtained from the Marathas in perpetuity the ownership of 
Salsette and the other islands which they rightly deemed 
indispensable to Bombay. Salsette was taken under the 
direct management of the Company. No attempt at double 


government in the name of any Oriental ruler was made, such 
as led to confusion and misery in Bengal. 

During the war a marked change had been coming over 
the Manitha empire. The great houses of Sindia, Holkar, 
the Gaikwar, and Bhonsle of Banir were rapidly growing into 
independent states, little if at all less powerful than the 
Peshwa himself. Thus, instead of a single empire, the English 
had to do with a more or less lax confederacy, each of whose 
members was actuated by his own personal interests rather 
than by any spirit of national patriotism. To these factors 
in the political combination of Western India were to be 
-added the Niz:im and Hydar Ali. 

( 1B7 ) 


THE Mar/itha war had been brought to a premature con- 
clusion on account of pressing danger in another 
quarter. That danger was by no means at an end. The 
fact was that British power had so far advanced that it must 
either perish or be supreme in India. The scenes of the 
long struggle might shift and change ; the combatants might 
vary ; and when one enemy was crushed another appear in 
the field. But for the English there could be no rest, and 
the general war in India continued with scarcely a break 
until their supremacy was established. For the present 
the struggle lay between the English, the Marathas, and the 
Muhammadan kingdom of Mysur. There might be conven- 
tion and truces, but until one or the other emerged as sole 
victor from the contest they could be only hollow and tem- 
porary. The most urgent danger was from the Sultan of My- 
sur, under cover of whose influence the French were making a 
determined effort for the recovery of their former ascendancy. 
Sir Eyre Coote's campaign in 1781 had been signally success- 
ful, and the year 1732 opened with like results. But Coote's 
shattered health compelled him to return to Bengal, and the 
war with Hydar continued with brilliant actions, but little 
permanent advantage to either side. The peace with the Mara- 
thas enabled the English to send reinforcements of both troops 
and ships from Bombay. The ships were greatly needed, for 
a powerful French fleet under Admiral Suffrein had come to 

188 niSTOKv or the bombay bbesidency. 

the aid of Hydar. The fleet was altogether stronger than that 
of the English under Admiral Hughes, but in several hard- 
fought actions it could obtain no advantage. December 
brought the death of Hydar, and his son Tipu succeeded to 
his power. Tipu might not have his father's ability, but he 
possessed his insatiable ambition and a yet more implacable 
hatred of the Enghsh. When Hydar died Tipu was conduct- 
ing some distant operations against a detachment of Bombay 
troops; and, with a capable commander, the Madras army 
might have inflicted a crushing defeat on the Mysur forces 
before Tipu could join them. But nothing was done ; and 
Sir Eyre Coote, who was once more despatched by Hastings, 
died shortly after his arrival, worn out by old nge and in- 
firmities. The aspect of affairs was not favourable. The 
country was ravaged by continual wars, and desolated by 
famine and hurricanes. And the news came that Bussy was 
returning to India with strong reinforcements from France. 

Bussy reached India in April 1/83, and assumed command 
of the French forces. But the Madras commander. General 
Stuart, succeeded in preventing him from co-operating with 
Tipu; jind in June Bussy was defeated in a general action, 
though not without a loss of 920 Europeans to the British 
army. Bussy was strengthened by a large number of marines 
and sailors from Admiral Suffrein's fleet, and he again 
attacked General Stuart's camp at night. But he was beaten 
off with heavy loss, and Bernadotte, the future king of 
Sweden, who was serving with him as a sergeant, was made 
prisoner. Shortly afterwards peace was signed between France 
and England, and Bussy agreed to withdraw the French 
troops in the Mysur service. 

The English were thus left to deal with Tipu alone. But 
the task was no light one. He possessed an army of 100,000 


men. He first reduced, by a siege that lasted five months, 
the fort of Bednur on the Mysur table-land, ^\hich had been 
gallantly taken by General Mathews with a detachment from 
Bombay. The garrison made a splendid defence, but were 
compelled by want of supplies to capitulate. Tipu engaged 
to send the survivors to the coast. Instead of this he plunged 
them into the dungeons of Saringapatam. He next marched 
against Mangalur, which held out nobly until January 30th 
1784?, when the defenders, who were reduced to the last 
extremities by famine, were permitted to march out with all 
the honours of war. Hastings was intent on a vigorous 
prosecution of the campaign until he could obtain an 
honourable peace. Two powerful British armies were ad- 
vancing, and the brutal cruelties of Tipu to Hindus and his 
forcible conversion of thousands of them were raising against 
him bitter enemies in his own dominions. Sindia, on behalf of 
the !Marathas, engaged to join the English, hoping to make 
Tipu a Maratha tributary. There was every reason to hope 
that a continuance of the struggle would soon bring a 
successful ending to the second Mysur war. But the 
ever-incapable Council of Madras thought otherwise, and 
determined to sue for peace. In vain did the Governor- 
General insist that they should imitate the example of Hydar, 
who had dictated peace mider the walls of Fort St. George. 
Tipu grossly insulted the English Commissioners, and it is 
impossible to read without shame and humiliation how they 
stood before him with their heads uncovered, and the treaty 
in their hands, for two hours, using every form of flattery 
and supplication to induce compliance ; and how their abject 
entreaties at length softened the Sultan into assent. By the 
treaty mutual conquests were restored, and the prisoners 
made by Tipu given up. These included 130 ofhcers, 900 


English soldiers, and 1,600 sepoys. Many, including General 
MatheAYS, had been murdered, ^vllile all had been subjected to 
most outrageous treatment. There ^vas no element of finality 
in the convention of Mangalur, and when five years later 
Tipu once more determined upon war with the English, the 
only matter for surprise was that he had chosen to observe 
the agreement for so long. There was no reference in it to 
Sindia or the -Marcithas, an omission regarded by them as- 
singularly offensive. The Governor-General expressed the 
strongest disapprobation of this humiliating treaty. But 
as much of it had already been carried into effect before the 
arrangement was communicated to him, he did not consider 
himself justified in annulling it. 

In April 1783, shortly after the final exchange of the treaty 
of Siilbai, an unprovoked attack was made by the Peshwa's 
fleet on a British vessel, which but for the urgent necessity for 
peace would have probably ca^used a renewal of the war. 
Lieutenant Pruen was in command of the " Ranger," a brig 
carrying twelve guns, which was bound for Kalikat. He was 
an officer in the Company's service, and he had on board as 
passengers General Norman Macleod and other officers of the 
king's service. There was always more or less jealousy be- 
tween officers of the two services, and Pruen welcomed the 
opportunity of showing his passengers how a Company's cruiser 
could fight. He met the Maratha attack of eleven ships with 
heroic courage. Their shot swept his decks, and their sailors 
boarded in hundreds. At last, when all his men were killed 
or wounded, he asked the king's officers if the crew of the 
*' Ranger" could fight, and then struck his colours in order to 
save the lives of those who still survived. General Macleod 
was himself desperately wounded while mingling bravely in 
the fight. The British Government strongly remonstrated 


at this violation of tlic treaty ; but upon a restoration of the 
"Eanger '' the Peshwa's apologies -were accepted. 

The treaty of Salbai had been negociated by the interven- 
tion of Sindia. lie conceived an exaggerated idea of the value 
of his services on this occasion, and his ambition rapidly grew. 
IJis interests diverged more and more from those of the 
Peshwa. lie had on a previous occasion taken under his 
patronage the representative of the house of Babar, and he 
again turned his attention towards Delhi. His object was to 
found a great Maratha State between tlie Ganges and the 
Jumna. He engaged the Frenchman De Boigne, one of the 
ablest military adventurers of the time, to discipline his troops ; 
and in accordance with the existing custom in India, by which 
the nauie of authority was so often se])aratcd from its substance, 
he sought to make himself master of Delhi by the ingenious 
contrivance of obtaiiiing for the Peshwa the title of 'Wakil-i- 
Mutluk, or supreme deputy of the empire. The title 
may have been gratifying to tlie Maratha national vanity 
at large ; but while it gained for the usuvpation of Sindia 
the nominal authority both of the emperor and the Peshwa, 
it created no small amount of jealousy at his proceedings on 
the part of Nana Farnawis, Ilolkar and other Maratha 
chiefs (1784). For himself he secured the appointment 
of deputy to the Peshv.a in Hindustan, the command of 
the emperor's army, and the managenient of the provinces 
of Delhi and Agra. In spite of his jealousy the Peshwa 
considered it advisable to send off a small body of his troops 
to preserve the appearance of union between himself and 
Sindia. In 1785 a llohilla chief, Gholam Khadir, rebelled 
against the emperor with temporary success ; he put out 
Shah Alam's eyes, and brutally outraged his family. Sindia 
stepped in, and with great ceremony reseated the blinded 

192 HISTORY OP thl: eombay presidency. 

emperor on his throne. The imperial dominions in 
Hinclastau now practically belonged to the great Mjihadaji 
Sindia. He Avas inebriated by his own success. Warren 
Hastings had sailed to England in February 1785, and in 
the emperor's name Sindia demanded from his successor, 
Mr. Macpherson, thechauth of the British provinces of Bengal. 
Bat the acting Governor-General insisted upon the absolute 
and immediate withdrawal of the demand, and Sindia found it 
wiser to obey. The incident showed the English the danger 
of Sindia' s ambitious policy. Considerable attention was 
paid to other ]Maratha chiefs, and it was determined 
again to send an envoy to the Peshwa's court at Puna. 
Since the treaty of Salbai Sindia had chosen to regard him- 
self as the political agent between the English and the Peshwa, 
and his jealousy w^as accordingly aroused at this proceeding. 
But Mr. Malet, the officer selected, was sent to Sindia at Agra 
to obtain his consent. A tardy acquiescence was obtained from 
him to a compromise, which arranged for the despatches of 
]\Ir. Malet to his Government being sent through Mr. Anderson, 
the resident at the Court of Sindia, for the information of 
the Maratha ruler. But Sindia was too busily occupied in 
Hindustan to be able to pay much attention to affairs at 

Lord Cornwallis, the permanent successor to Warren 
Hastings, reached Calcutta in September 1786. He found 
Sindia all powerful in Hindustan ; w^hile in the Deccan, the 
Marathas under the Peshwa, the Nizam, and Tipu Sultjin of 
Mysur, were the chief actors in the political crisis that he had 
to deal with. 

The power of Tipu was fast becoming intolerable to the 
Marathas and the English alike. His father, Ilydar Ali, had 
not been a strict Mussalman and had left the Hindus un- 


molested. But Tipu was an orthodox upholder of the faith, 
and a master of the methods of fanaticism and persecution. 
He was busily engaged in forcibly converting Hindus to 
Muhammadanism ; he carried off the people of Kurg (Coorg) 
into slavery, and established a universal reign of terror. 
Two thousand Brahmans on tlie borders of the Maratha terri- 
tory died by their own hand to preserve the purity of their 
•caste. The Peshwa applied for aid to the English, but the 
treaty of Mangalur had placed them in a neutral position and 
lie had to be content with the alliance of the Nizam. A cam- 
paign was opened in 1786, but little was gained on either side, 
and peace was concluded a few months after the arrival of 
Lord Cornwallis. 

The new Governor- General was a soldier as well as a states- 
man. He grasped the poHtical situation, and realised that 
the English could not long remain a neutral power. But his 
hands were not altogether free. He was sent out to 
avoid war and to improve the internal administration of the 
Company's territories. Mr. Pitt's bill of 1784 had forbidden 
alliances with native princes. Personally, Lord Cornwallis 
preferred peace, but with admirable statesmanship he prepared 
everything for war should war be forced upon him. He 
had not long to wait. By the treaty of Mangalur the state 
of Travancore was declared to be under British protection. 
Tipu demanded the submission of the Rjija, and in December 
1789 he attacked the forces of that state. Lord Cornwallis 
saw that the time for action had come. If he observed the 
directions of Mr. Pitt's bill in the letter he certainly broke 
through them in the spirit. He might not make alliances, 
but he made treaties to have effect during the continuance 
of the war. Before Tipu's invasion was an accomplished fact, 
he had informed him, through Mr. Holland the Governor of 


Madras, that lie meant to uphold by force the integrity of 
Travaneore. Holland first proceeded to extort money for 
himself from the Travaneore Raja ; and uhen Tipu's attack. 
Avas made, he deserted his post and sailed for England. On 
learning of these events, Nana Farmiwis immediately pro- 
posed joint action with the English against Tipu. Terms- 
were drawn up in !Marcli 1790, and in July of that year the 
Nizam joined the coalition. 

The war was opened with spirit under General iSIedows, 
Commander-in-Chief, and now Governor of Madras. He com- 
menced operations in May, and by September he had captured 
some forts which were deemed impregnable, and possessed 
himself of the low country of Mysur. In Malabar, Colonel 
Hartley of Bombay defeated the Mysur general Hussein 
Ali ; and General Abercrombie reduced Kannanur and secured 
the coast territor^^ The Mariithas had given valuable aid, 
and they captured from the Mysur forces the strong fort of 
Dhiirwar. But the highlands, in which rested the chief 
strength of Tipu, were in vain attempted ; and, disappointed 
at the result of the first campaign, Lord Cornwallis deter- 
mined himself to take command in the second. In January 
1791 the Governor-General placed himself at the head of the 
army. The campaign again opened brilhantly, and Lord 
Cornwallis defeated Tipu in several engagements. The 
Nizam^s forces joined him, but their aid was of little value. 
The troops were picturesque in appearance but useless ex- 
cept for plunder. Finally, after a splendid victory at Arikera 
in April, Lord Cornwallis found his supplies to be so scanty 
and defective that he was compelled to retreat. He had to 
destroy his batteiies and heavy stores, and was only saved 
from serious disaster by the speedy arrival of his Marat lia 
allies. He took up his position at Bangalur for the remain- 


der of the year, leaving nothing undone to complete his pre- 
parations for the overthrow of Tipu in the next campaign. 

The subsequent operations were crowned with complete 
success. After capturing several stupendous mountain fort- 
resses Lord CornwalHs advanced on Saringapatam, and on 
the 5th of February 1792 proceeded to invest it. A few 
days later he was joined by the Bombay army under General 
Abercrombie. Saringapatam was now completely isolated, and 
Tipu felt an alarm at the might of the British power which 
he had never before conceived. Vrhen Lord Cornwaliis des- 
troyed his stores and guns after the battle of Arikera he 
dreamt of no second supply in reserve ; and when he saw a 
more powerful armament than ever brought against him he 
exclaimed that it was not what he saw of the English that 
he feared but what he did not see. Convinced of the over- 
whelming might of the forces arrayed against him he saw 
that his only course was that of complete submission ; and 
the third ]^>Iy3ur war was concluded by a treaty in accordance 
with which the Sultan ceded half his dominions to the allies, 
and paid the expenses of the war. The ^Madras Presidency 
thus gained a large increase of area, including the district of 
North Kanara with the port of Karwar, which was handed over 
to Bombay in ISGl. It was subsequently discovered that 
the British success was no more anticipated by the Nizam 
and the Mardtha troops than by Tipu ; and traitorous 
correspondence was found which showed that only the un- 
daunted vigour and ability of the Governor-General prevented 
their taking part with the Mysur king against the English. 

This triumphant success immensely raised the prestige of 
the British arms. There is no doubt that they formed the 
only serious obstacle in the way of Tipu's ultimate conquest 
of all India. But the most important result of the war was 


its effect upon the English pohcy. The system of complete 
isolation from the other powers of the Peninsula was for the 
future out of the question. Self-effacement was impossible. 
The idea of absolute supremacy was indeed not yet come. 
People in England looked on Native rulers as holders of 
ancient monarchies, and failed to realise that the Marathas, the 
Nizam, and the Sultan of Mysur, not only owed their sovereignty 
to usurpation and violence, but were no older in the field 
than the English themselves and had no better right to their 
conquests. But facts were stronger than preconceived theories. 
Isolation was dropped and a new theory of a balance of power 
came in, by which the British Government should hold the 
scales between the rival candidates for supremacy. This 
theory soon proved impracticable, but it was an immense step 
in advance of what preceded it. 

Lord Cornwallis sailed for England in October 1793. His 
reputation rests less on his military achievements than on his 
courageous reform in the civil service. He bestowed ade- 
quate salaries on the Company's servants and put an end to 
the system of perquisites ; and he insisted upon a tone of 
honour and rectitude which has been the glory of the service 
ever since. But in making a permanent settlement of the 
land tenure of Bengal he made a vast mistake, which led to 
abuses that have not yet passed away. During his tenure of 
office a changfe was introduced into the charter of the East 
Indian Company. A limited amount of free trade was con- 
ceded to outsiders, and missionaries and school-masters allowed 
admission into the Company's territories. 

While these events were occurring at Mysur, further changes 
were taking place amongst the Maratha leaders. Sindia had 
not joined the Peshwa in his alliance with the English, but 
he managed his possessions in Ilindustiin with singular 


ability and success. His prosperity was the cause of intense 
jealousy to his great rival Holkar, who was used by Nana 
Farnawis as a check upon Sindia's power. Holkar took into 
his service the Chevalier Dudrenec, and proceeded to raise a 
disciplined force on the model of Sindia's. Sindia by no 
means approved of this. He petitioned for Holkar' s recall, 
and himself proceeded to Puna with the ostensible object of 
investing the young Peshwa with the insignia of his office 
which he had obtained from the emperor. His ulterior 
motive was to increase his influence and popularity with the 
Marathas of Maharashtra, from whom his long absence 
might have in some degree estranged him. He reached Puna 
in June 1791 and pitched his camp wuth magnificent state 
on the Sangam, or junction of the rivers Muta and Mula. 
Nana Farnawis intensely disliked Sindia's proceedings, and 
dreaded his increasing influence ; but the ceremony was 
carried out with regal splendour. The Peshwa was now a 
high-spirited youth of seventeen. He was greatly attracted 
by the frank and soldierly manners of Sindia, and the influence 
of his stern guardian Nana proportionately waned. Sindia 
utilised to the utmost the Peshwa' s liking for him. He had 
extended at his own risk the dominion of the Marathas to 
Hindustan, and he now put forth a request that he might be 
reimbursed for the costs which he had been compelled to 
incur. Nana Farnawis retorted that he had now held the 
conquests for some time, that the territories were wealthy, 
and that he ought now to render an account of his steward- 
ship to his master the Peshwa. While Nana and Sindia were 
thus intriguing at the Peshwa's court, news reached Puna 
that Sindia's army in Hindustan had inflicted a crushing 
defeat on the forces of Holkar. The triumph of Sindia 
seemed assured, and in the crisis that ensued Nana Farnawis 


besought his master to let him retire to Baiiaras. But 
Sindia almost immediately died of fever near Puna, and 
his nephew, Daolat Kao, a bo}^ of fifteen succeeded to his 

Mahadaji Sindia was one of the most daring and able men 
of his age. He was held by a great proportion of the 
Marathas in almost as great veneration as Shiwaji himself. 
He was a consistent opponent of the ascendency of the 
Brahmans. While striving for his own independence, he 
aimed at a MarAtha confederacy of which he should be the 
leader. At one time, when defeated by Popham and Camac, 
his fortunes seemed at a low ebb. But the English, by 
accepting his mediation at the treaty of Salbai, recognised 
his independent position, and from that time he surmounted 
every difficulty and achieved a task that his enemies might 
well have held impossible. The progress of the English 
he viewed with alarm ; and he was hostile to the entire 
demolition of Tipu's power, as he considered it a bulwark 
against English aggression. But he had in reality by spread- 
ing Maratha power over so vast an area considerably sapped 
its strength ; and his system of organising regular infantry 
and artillery on the European system ultimately led to the 
ruin of his nation's power. The strength of the ^larathas 
lay in their irregular cavalry, who could fight or flee as 
might be most expedient. Infantry and guns might compel 
them to stand their ground when retreat was more judicious. 
The Marathas were a martial rather than a military people. 
Every member of a peasant's family had carried arms, but 
of discipline and technical skill they had little. Pitched 
battles and regular warfare were unsuited to their style 
of fighting. What gave them their tremendous power was 
their surprising activity and mobility. These qualities were 


destroyed by the introduction of a more cumbersome or- 
ganisation. Their courage ^vas never a very conspicuous 

There was a change, too, at this time in the reigning 
house of Baroda. Fatte Sing Gaikwar, the regent, died; 
and, after some intrigues and disputes his brotlier, a former 
rival, Gowind Rao, was accredited by Nana Farnawis as his 

Throughout the Mysur war the curse of piracy had clung 
to the western coast. Raghoji Angria of Kolaba professed 
submission to the Peshwa, but practised it only so far as 
suited his convenience. The Sidis of Janjira plundered the 
ships of all nations Avith the exception of the English, nor did 
this exception always hold good. Nana Farnawis attempted 
to take advantage of revolutions in this petty state and annex 
the unconquerable island to the Peshwa's territory. In 1791 
an agreement was actually signed by which the heirs 
relinquished their right in favour of the Peshwa. But the 
island fort was never reduced. The empire of the Peshwas 
has perished, but the principality of Janjira has endured. 
The pirates also of Malwan, Sawantwari and Kolhapur 
swarmed along the coast. An armament was made ready 
against Kolhapur in 1792; but it was not despatched as 
pardon was asked, an indemnity promised, and a treaty con- 
cluded. But little result came of the agreement, and it was 
not till 1812 that the Bombay Government finally put an 
end to piracy. The pirate strongholds now contain English 
life-boats ; and the rock of Kandheri, in lieu of a nest of 
robbers ready to plunder the mariner, now bears a lighthouse 
to warn him off the reefs and shoals. 

After the death of Sindia, Nana Farnawis managed the 
affairs of the Mardtha States. Daolat Rao Sindia w^as too 


young to interfere, and Nana kept the Peshwa in rigid tutel- 
age. His first measures \yere taken against the Nizam, upon 
Avhom the Marathas considered that they possessed no small 
claims. AVhatever just claims they may haye had, the 
demands urged were preposterous, and the Nizam appealed' 
to Calcutta. Sir John Shore, who was afterwards Lord 
Teignmouth, had succeeded Lord Cornwallis. But war had 
again broken out between France and England. Hostilities^ 
were again proceeding before Pondicheri, and French influence 
peryaded many natiye states. Shore was by no means deyoid 
of courage ; but he was not equal to the complications andl 
difficulties of the task before him, and he declined to 
interfere. A stronger man would haye at all eyents mediated 
between the contending parties. The Governor-General was- 
fully aware of the dangerous predominance that the defeat of 
the Nizam would giye to the Marathas. But he held to the 
policy of non-interyention. The Nizam increased his forces,, 
and with the aid of a French ofticer named Raymond dis- 
ciplined twenty-three battalions of infantry and a park of 
artillery. His efforts were futile. In the battle of Khardla,. 
in March 1795, the troops disciplined by Raymond alone 
stood their ground ; the rest were utterly routed. TheNiztim- 
had to surrender frontier districts, including Daolatabad, of 
the annual reyenue of ^350,000, and to pay three millions 
sterling in payment of all the Maratha claims. Nana 
Farnawis was now at the height of his ascendency. The^ 
young Sindia and Bhonsle of Barar were favourably disposed 
to him; Tuk^ji Holkar had grown mentally and physically 
incompetent to take any part in public affairs. His only 
anxiety was lest the Peshwa should insist on receiving 
the authority which was his due. He meant in fact to 
play the same part with the Peshwa that the early Peshwas. 


had played with the successors of Shhvaji. The faineant 
Raja at Satira might be an instrument that would thwart 
his plans. He consequently increased the severity of his im- 
prisonment and prohibited his relations from going near him. 
The family of Raghoba was a greater source of danger, 
especially his elder son Baji Rao. Baji Rao was a graceful 
and accomplished youth, and his manners gained him the 
good-will of all who saw^ him. The young Peshwa was taken 
by the attractive disposition and the accomplishments of his 
cousin. Nana Farniiwis therefore had him immured in a 
hill fort. He treated the Peshwa with extraordinary harsh- 
ness and severity, but his policy defeated its own object. 
Rendered desperate by this tyranny, Mahdu Rao Peshwa was 
overwhelmed with grief and despair. He sank into a fixed 
melanchol}^ and in October 1795, in the 22nd year of his age, 
he threw himself from a terrace in his palace and in a few days 
expired, living long enough to express a wish that Baji Eao 
should succeed him. This catastrophe brought an end to 
ISTana's successful career, and during the remainder of his life 
misfortunes crowded upon him with but few alternations of 

Nana had no intention of allowing Baji Rao to succeed. 
He held that the widow of the late Peshwa should adopt a 
son, and that son should be Chimnaji Apa, the younger 
brother of Baji Rao, who would be a more pliant tool in his 
hands. The extraordinary series of plots, counterplots,, 
assassinations, and massacres which ensued, clearly went to 
show that the power of the Marathas was drawing to a 
close. Baji Rao appealed to Sindia to aid him in securing 
the throne. Dreading Sindia's power Nana reversed his 
policy, ^yith the help of Parashram Bhau, the commander-^ 
in-chief, he determined to forestall Sindia, and himself 


promote the cause of Baji Rao. An objection was now raised 
by Sindia's minister, and Nana reverted to his original 
scheme. But growing suspicious he remained aloof; and 
then, making a fresh departure, he endeavoured to regain his 
power by setting up the faineant Rjija of Satara. Mean- 
^vhile, Parashram Bhau took Chimndji Apa to Puna where 
he was invested as Peshwa in May 1796, Parashram Bhau 
being at the head of the Government. This was sufficient 
to attract Ndna's sympathies to the cause of Baji Rao. He 
contrived to enhst Sindia on his side and gained over Raghoji 
Bhonsle, the son of Mudaji, Raja of Barar, and he made a 
treaty with the Nizam at Mahur, by which he cancelled the 
balance of arrears due to the Marathas by the Nizam. He 
also obtained the recognition of the English to the claims of 
Baji Rao. The adoption of Chimnaji Apa was declared 
illegal and was therefore revoked ♦ and Baji Rao was pro- 
claimed Peshwa hi "December 179G. 

Beneath his engaging manners Baji Rao concealed the 
ferocity of the tiger. He bore no love to Nana Farnawis, 
.i\nd anxious to rid himself of his control he plotted against 
him with Sindia. In December 1797 he placed him in close 
confinement in Sindia's fort of Ahmadnagar. Baji Rao had 
but freed himself from one thraldom to find himself subject 
to another. Daolat Rao Sindia inherited his father's ambi- 
tion and love of power. His interference in the state affairs 
of Puna became more arbitrary than that of Nana himself 
had been. Tukaji Holkar had died. He left two legiti- 
mate sons, one of whom was an idiot. Sindia put the 
idiot on the throne and murdered the other, and the house 
of Holkar became for the time subservient to him. But 
Tukdji left two illegitimate sons, Yeshwant Rao and Wituji ; 
the former of these proved a formidable antagonist, not only 


to Sindia but to the Britisli power itself, Amongst Sinclia's 
acts of interference the grossest was his capture of the fort 
of Kolaba, the imprisonment of Manaji Angria, and the 
enstalment on his throne of Eabu Rao Angria, a connection 
of Sindia's own house. His headstrong and turbulent fol- 
lowers kept Puna in a perpetual state of uproar and confu- 
sion. He married in March 1793 the daughter of Shirji 
llao Ghatge, one of his officers. The expenses of the mar- 
riage were enormous ; and he pressed Baji Kao for a reimburse- 
ment of the costs which he had incurred in his efforts to 
j)lace him on the throne. Baji Rao could not raise the 
amount himself, but he replied that if Sindia would make 
Ohatge his diwan or minister he might levy his demands 
upon the rich inhabitants of Puna. The offer was accepted, 
and in Ghatge there was let loose upon the people of Puna 
a monster of cruelty whose name is remembered to this day 
with loathing and execration. His first victims were the for- 
mer partisans of Nana Farnawis. He next went to the 
merchants and bankers, and other rich inhabitants of the ci( s', 
and by unspeakable tortures, which in many cases ended in 
death, compelled them to give up their wealth. Baji Rao, 
whose true character was understood by the British resident, 
was the real cause of these brutalities ; but the popular rage 
was directed against Sindia, and Btiji Rao took advantage of 
it to plot his assassination. He worked out his plan with his 
half-brother x\mrat Rao, whom he had made his minister in 
succession to Nana ; but at the last moment his courage failed 
him, and Sindia escaped death by flight. 

The plot upon this became more and more involved, and it 
is almost impossible to follow it out through its intricate 
twistings and turnings. The whole Deccan became a scene 
of intolerable disorder. The rupture between Sindia and the 


Peshwa widened, and then was healed and opened agaui. 
Sindia released Nana FarniUvis and Baji Rao took him back 
as his minister. The Rajas of Satara and Kolhapur were 
incited to aid the rival and ever-shifting parties ; fire and 
sword desolated the country. Each faction sought the aid 
alternately of the English, Tipu, and the Nizam. The 
resident at Puna, Colonel Palmer, declined intervention, but 
endeavoured to mediate, and his advice was not without some 

( 205 ) 


WHILE things ill the Deccan were going from bad to 
worse, a new Governor-General arrived in India. 
Lord Mornington reached Calcutta in May 1798. He came out 
full of Lord Cornwallis' theory of the balance of power. His 
first efforts were directed to the renewal of the alliance with 
the Niztun and the Peshwa against Tipu, and to the driving 
of the French out of India. With the Nizam the English 
concluded a most favourable treaty, by promising to mediate 
on his behalf with the Marathas. Nizam Ali consented to 
dismiss his French troops, and to receive in their stead six 
battalions of English sepoys and a force of artillery, for 
which he agreed to pay annually twenty-four lakhs of rupees. 
A similar treaty was off'ered to but declined by the Marathas, 
the Peshwa alleging that previous treaties were suflicient. 
He however volunteered to assist in the inevitable war with 
Tipu. But the usual stream of intrigue was in full force. 
The Peshwa was in his heart of hearts much more inclined to 
side with Tipu, and he prepared a scheme with Sindia by 
which the latter should attack the Nizam. Lord Mornington 
had full information of what was going on and took measures 

Aff'airs with Tipu were fast coming to a crisis. His pre- 
vious lessons had taught him nothing, and he was still bent 
on driving the English out of India. England and France 
were as usual at war, and the French were busily engaged 


in directing the armies and training the troops of Indian 
princes. Tipu had sent envoys to the Mauritius to bring 
about an offensive and defensive alHance with France against 
the Enghsh ; Napoleon Buonaparte had landed in Egypt 
with the deliberate intention of invading India. It was 
generally believed that a French fleet was in the Red Sea 
on its way to Bombay. It was no time for dilly-dallying. 
Lord Mornington demanded from Tipu, by Colonel Doveton, 
a full explanation. Tipu sought time in vain for negociations, 
and begged immediate aid from the French ; and he wrote 
to Zeman Shah, the Afghan prince who had crossed the 
Indus and reached Laliur, to join him in a war of extermi- 
nation against the infidels. In vain did Lord Mornington 
assure him that the French fleet had been destroyed in the 
hay of Aboukir by Admiral Nelson ; Tipu was inflexible, 
and the fourth Mysur war began. 

A magnificently equipped army advanced against Mysur 
in February 1799, under the command of General Harris. 
Tipu was astonished at the mighty forces arrayed against 
him. Ho remembered his former fear of these people who 
brought their operations to a conclusion by means which he 
could not see. His generalship deserted him. His army was 
defeated; the English crossed the Kawari by an unknown 
ford, and invested him in Saringapatam. On the third day- 
he sued for peace, but the English terms were enormous ; 
and with the brief reply that it was better to die a soldier 
than to live a puppet king, he prepared to fight to the death. 
The siege recommenced. On May 2nd the breach was prac- 
ticable ; and on the next day the fort was stormed by troops 
taken from the three Presidencies in the face of a terrible 
resistance. It was not easy to restrain the English troops 
from indiscriminate vengeance, for Tipu had a way of 

SECOXi» MAl'AirlA WAR. 207 

murdering his prisoners, and twelve had been slaughtered 
the night before. Tipu died a soldiers death, and his bodv 
^vas found beneath a gateway. Crashing peals of thunder 
nnngled with the roar of the English guns that were fired 
in salute over his grave. 

The Governor-General expressed to Mr. Jonathan Duncan, 
the Governor of Bombay, his appreciation of the merits of 
Generals Stuart and Hartley and other Bombay officers. 
He wrote that the distinguished part which the Presidency 
of Bombay had borne during the late crisis in the labours 
and honours of the common cause, had repeatedly claimed 
his warm approbation, and would ever be remembered by 
him with gratitude and respect. '' In your liberal and 
voluntary contribution/' his letter proceeded, ** towards the 
exigencies of your native country and towards the defence 
of the Presidency under whose government you reside, in the 
alacrity with which you have given your personal services 
for the military protection of Bombay, I have contemplated 
with pleasure the same character of public spirit, resolution 
and activity which has marked the splendid successes of the 
army of Bombay from the commencement to the close of the 
late glorious campaign.*' 

The home Government had fully approved of the policy of 
Lord ]Mornington. The title of Marquis of Wellesley was con- 
ferred on him, and General Harris was raised to the peerage. 
The family of Tipu was pensioned . So much of his dominions 
as had formed the ancient Hindu kingdom of Mysur was ruled 
by the English in the name of the real Raja of the country, a 
boy five years of age, whose descendant now holds his do- 
minions. The rest was divided between the English and the 
Nizcim, the Niz:j-m's portion reverting shortly to the English on 
condition of their strengthening their contingent at Hydartibad 


and protecting him from all oppression. The Peshwa and Sindia 
■ivere astounded at the magnitude of the EngHsh success. 
The former anticipated a share of the partitioned kingdom, 
and made excuses for the inactivity of his troops in support 
of the Enghsh. The Governor-General was prepared to 
gratify the Peshwa' s wishes ; but, as he would not abate his 
claims on the Nizam, and only proposed to accept his share as 
a discharge of his claims for chauth on Mysur, Lord Wellesley 
brought the matter to a simple ending by the annulment of 
all the Peshwa' s claims. 

The Marquis of Wellesley's career in India, short as it had 
been, was already long enough to convince him of the hope- 
lessness of the theory of balance of power. Things had 
come to such a pass that the permanent existence of the 
English in India depended upon their absolute supremacy. 
Lord Wellesley henceforward steadily acted on the assumption 
that in return for British protection each state must surrender 
its independence. All these incessant and intolerable wars 
w^ere to be brought to a close ; no state was to make wars or 
alHances, nor employ Europeans, not English, in their service 
without the consent of the paramount power. For the French 
intrigues were still rampant and French military adventurers 
abounded. Lord Wellesley's singularly clear military insight 
led him rather to over-estimate than under-value danger from 
this source, for his own splendid achievements led him to see 
what determined perseverance could effect. He may have 
also unduly dreaded the power of the Afghan Zaman Khan, 
who had prayed him for help to drive Sindia out of Hindustan. 
To counteract the schemes of Napoleon Baonai)artc and of 
the Afghdn prince there must be a united India, and where 
was the po-sibility of such a union apart from the absolute 
predominance of British rule ? The Governor- General's plan 


then was that each of tlie larger states should maintain a 
force commanded by British officers, and cede in full sove- 
reignty an assignment of territory for its maintenance. The 
Nizam had accepted the position. The Peshwa and Sindia 
had yet to be convinced of its necessity. 

Both these potentates steadily behaved in a manner that 
hastened the day when their backs should bow beneath the 
British yoke. In March 1800 Nana Farnawis died. "With 
him," WTote Colonel Palmer the British resident, "has de- 
parted all the wisdom and moderation of the Maratha govern- 
ment." He had been a great statesman, and shown him- 
self a worthy and honourable foe of the British Government. 
He watched with a keen and jealous eye the progress of 
their arms, and had consistently opposed the admission of 
a body of English troops. For twentj'^-five years he had 
conducted with ability the internal affairs of the Peshwa's 
empire. But the last portion of his life was embittered 
by the intrigues which hurled him from power ; and, though 
he died in harness, his reputation was sullied and his 
influence dimmed. Weakened as his power was, its loss 
soon made itself felt. Disorder was supreme in the Deccan. 
Ghatge was pursuing his brutal cruelties wherever it pleased 
him ; the Raja of Kolhapur was at war with the Peshwa, 
while a military adventurer of the time named Dhondia 
Wag, who had passed from Tipu's service to that of Kolhapur, 
was now plundering on his own account. 

Dhondia Wag's proceedings passed the bounds of all 
endurance. The Peshwa was too much occupied with Sindia 
to be able to check him. A British force was therefore 
sent after him — with scant recognition of the Peshwa's inde- 
pendent sovereignty — under Major- General Arthur Wellesley, 
brother of the Governor-General, who had already fore-? 


shadowed the reputation that he was to gain at Waterloo 
as a Colonel in the last Mysur war. He pursued Dhondia 
Wag for four months; and at last, in September 1800^ 
brought him to an action in which he was cut down in a? 
charge of the 19tli Dragoons. 

Since Nona's death Sindia exercised complete control over 
the Peshwa, and Baji Rao watched with secret joy the rise 
of a rival in Hindustan whose progress would inevitably 
summon his oppressor aw^ay from Puna. This was Yesh- 
want Rao Holkar, the half-brother of the idiot whom Sindia 
had placed on the throne of Tukdji, and of the other brother 
whom he had murdered. Yeshwanb Rao betook himself to 
the jungles, and rapidly gathered around him a horde of such 
as delighted in war, and scorned to work when it was possible 
to plunder. He soon had an army of 20,000 men, and he 
was joined by the Chevalier Dudrenec and his battalion. It 
was not long before he directed his energies against the 
dominions of Sindia, and Sindia was compelled to leave 
Puna for the defence of his own districts. An obstinate war 
ensued, and numerous bloody battles were fought with 
varying success. At last, in October 1802, fortune favoured 
Holkar, who attacked Sindia's possessions in Khandesh, and 
extended his operations almost to Puna ; and he gave out 
that as head of the house of Holkar he meant to protect the 
Peshwa from the usurpation of Daolat Rao Sindia. 

Biji Rao had been delighted at getting rid of Sindia. But 
when left to himself he showed that other occupations were 
more to his taste than so serious a business as the administra- 
tion and consolidation of his empire. He preferred to pass 
his time in destroying and robbing all such families as 
he believed to have been at any time opposed to his interests. 
Among his victims was Wituji, brother of Yeshwant Rao, 


who had heen taken prisoner durmg the war. Wituji was 
brought before the Peshwa and tied to the foot of an 
elephant, and Bdji Rao looked on gleefully as the animal 
dragged off its shrieking victim to a lingering death in the 
public streets. He was therefore hardly prepared to welcome 
Yeshwant Eao when he appeared before his capital. 
In his consternation he besought the aid of the British Gov- 
ernment ; but the only terms on which they would give- it 
were those prescribed in the case of the Nizam, and these he 
refused to accept. It only remained to fight ; and when the 
united forces of the Peshwa and Sindia marched out for 
battle on October 25th, Baji Rao felt that he might yet be 
saved. The combat was terrific. Holkar himself headed 
charge after charge ; the impetuosity of his attacks at length 
broke through Sindia's disciplined battalions, and the rest 
of the army fled. The spoil was immense, the victor obtain- 
ing the whole of the guns and stores of the defeated army. 
Baji Rao fled to the fort of Singahr; and in his despair sent 
a letter to Colonel Close, the new resident at Puna, profess- 
ing his willingness to conclude a treaty with the English for 
the maintenance of six battalions of sepoys. He then went 
to Mahar, near the old English settlement of Dasgaum, and 
applied to the Presidency of Bombay for ships to take him 
and his followers to that Island. Mr. Jonathan Duncan, 
who was Governor from 1795 to 1811, possessed a clear and 
acute intellect. He had been a civilian in Bengal ; and had, 
as Commissioner of Banaras, done valuable service in checking 
the prevailing social crime of infanticide of female children. 
As Governor of Bombay he continued this useful work in 
Kacbh, Guzc^rat, Malwa and R/gputana ; and though the cruel 
rite was by no means stamped out, the thin edge of the wedge 
was introduced by which it has since been eradicated, and many 


children were preserved by Governor Duncan's efforts . He saw 
the importance of this crisis. Baji Rao went to Rewadanda, 
a modern village on the site of Chaul, and thence sailing to 
Bombay was received by Mr. Duncan on December 6th. After 
a few days' stay he proceeded to Bassein, where he was followed 
by Colonel Close, and by December 31st 1801 the treaty of 
Bassein was completed. Lord Wellesley considered that the 
state of things afforded a most favourable opportunity for the 
complete establishment of the interests of the British power in 
the Maratha empire. The Peshwa was no longer in a position 
to discuss the terms which the English offered him. Like the 
Nizam he professed his readiness to cede territory for the 
maintenance of a force of 6,000 regular infantry, together with 
proportionate artillery, to be stationed in his dominions. He 
was to allow no Europeans, not English, within his territories, 
and to have no intercourse with native states without 
the consent of the Governor-General. His claims on the 
Nizam and on the Gaikwdr were to be settled by the 
British Government, and with regard to the latter he 
recognised the convention lately drawn up between the British 
and Anand Rao Gaikwar. The increasing disorder through- 
out Guzanlt had compelled the interference of the Governor 
of Bombay. In 1799 the Nawab of Surat died. The Eng- 
lish had long held the castle ; but the revenues and posses- 
sion of the city had been for many years shared between 
tlie Nawab, the Marathas, including the Gaikwar and the 
Peshwa, and the English. Commissioned by the Governor- 
General, Mr. Duncan proceeded to Surat, assumed sole charge 
of the city, and pensioned the NawAb's brother who was the 
heir to the Nawabship. Gowind Rao Gaikw^ir assented to 
this arrangement, merely pro vising that the Peshwa' s consent 
was necessary. This was now obtained. But meanwhile 


Gowind Rao died, and tlie English supported his eldest son, 
Anand Rao, against various claimants to the throne who 
took the field in support of their claims. Considerable force 
had to be exercised to reduce the insurgent forces. The Arab 
mercenaries, who had for some time ruled at Baroda, made 
extravagant demands for arrears of pay and seized the person 
of Anand Rao. A European regiment was sent from Bombay 
to Baroda. The town was invested by Colonel Woodington, 
and taken after a ten days' siege. The finances of the 
Baroda Government were in hopeless confusion, and the whole 
province was in a state of anarchy. The result was inevitable. 
The Bombay Government took the matter in hand. Five 
battalions were subsidised ; and, like his master the Peshwa, 
Anand Rao Gaikwar became a vassal of the British Govern- 
ment, and his dominions were speedily brought into order. 
This arrangement was ratified by Baji Rao in the treaty of 
Bassein. In short, he yielded up his authority and his 
suzerainty over the great Maratha houses in order to be 
secured in the semblance of his ancient dignity. The cup 
was a bitter one. In his humiliation he had to drain it ; 
should fortune change, he meant to cast it from him. 

Sindia was deeply mortified at the execution of the treaty 
of Bassein. The treaty of Salbai had been negociated by the 
late head of his house. Here was a treaty in which his ex- 
istence had been absolutely ignored, and which was in defiance 
of the old Maratha policy that come what might they would 
have no foreign intervention. He was still more incensed 
when Lord Wellesley proposed to form a similar arrangement 
with himself, and he perceived that the encroachments of the 
English threatened the very foundations of Mardtha power. 
RaghojiBhonsleof Barar was imbued with similar sentiments. 
Both of them gave evasive replies to the Governor-General's 


overtures, while they endeavoured to form a wide confederacy 
against their common foe. If Yeshwant Rao Holkar vrould 
join them their way would be clearer. But Yeshwant Rao 
prepared to watch the course of events, and throw in his lot 
with the winner. B.iji Rao, however, alarmed at the action of 
the vast machinery which he had put in motion, entered into 
secret correspondence with Sindia and Barar, encouraging 
their plans at the very moment when a British force v. as 
about to replace him on his throne. 

The conspiracy was formidable enough, but its gravity was 
immensely increased in the Governor-Generars view by the 
presence of French intrigues and French officers. An intense 
hostility to the designs of France, the danger of which he 
possibly over-rated, was the keynote of Lord Wellesley's 
policy. Napoleon had in 1800 landed in Egypt, and there 
was no reason why the attempt should not be repeated. 
Lord Wellesley had himself sent an expedition of 7,000 troops 
from Bombay to Suez under Sir David Baird, who made a 
memorable march across the desert and descended the Nile to 
Rosetta. The conclusion of peace with France prevented 
their meeting the French troops in action, but the fame of 
the expedition increased the estimate of British power in 
India. Bombay had been in no little excitement and alarm ; 
and, stimulated by the supposed urgency of the danger, the 
patriotism of the citizens had provided Government with 
the money needed for its operations. The revenues of the 
Doab, or land between the Ganges and the Jumna, were still 
collected by French officers for the maintenance of the 
French battalions of Sindia under Perron ; and Broach, the 
port at the mouth of the Narbada, was in Sindia's possession. 
Lord Wellesley pictured to himself the possibility, if not the 
likelihood, of a F^rench army landing at Broach, and co- 


operating with Perron at Agra to achieve a French conquest 
of Hindustan. 

Lord Wellesley had complete information as to the doings 
of Sindia and his alHes. They would not ratify the treaty of 
Bassein ; so he proceeded to put it in force with a strong 
hand without reference to their pleasure, and to replace the 
Peshwa at Puna. The Hydanibdd suhsidiary force, under 
Colonel Stevenson, accompanied by 1,500 of the Nizdm's 
regular troops, took up a position on the river Sina that formed 
the eastern boundary of the Pesliwa's dominions. Major- 
General Arthur Wellesley was detached from the Madras 
army that was guarding the borders of Mysur. He marched 
towards Puna with 8,000 infantry and 1,700 cavalry, adding 
to his strength on the way 10,000 horse contributed by the 
feudatories of the Southern Maratha Country, to aid in the 
Peshwa's restoration. The length of his march was nearly six 
hundred miles, in the worst season of the year, through a 
country which had been destroyed by Holkar's army. But 
lie travelled with heavy guns an average of thirteen-and-a-half 
miles a day. Holkar meanwhile, and his son Amrat Rao, 
whom he chose to proclaim as Peshwa in Baji Rao's absence, 
.had been mercilessly plundering the unfortunate inhabitants 
of Puna, and the country round was devastated. But 
jieither of them awaited the arrival of the British troops, 
Holkar retreatmg to Malwa and his son to Nasik. General 
Wellesley however, hearing that the}^ were likely to burn 
Puna, made a forced march of sixty miles in thirty-two hours 
up to the city ; but on his arrival on April 20th he found it 
evacuated. Amrat Rao subsequently joined the British 

On May 13th 1803 the Peshwa, escorted by British 
droops, reached Puna from Bassein, and was placed upon his 


throne with every ceremony of rejoicmg. To mark the happ^ 
occasion, a salute of nineteen guns was fired at Bombay and 
the principal military stations of the Company. 

"While Holkar was watching the issue of events from a 
distance, and rejecting overtures from Sindia and the English 
alike, the attitude of the confederates Sindia and Barar became 
more and more threatening. The Governor-General called upon 
Sindia for a definite explanation of his intentions, and at the 
same time made every preparation for w\ir. He replied that 
he could not make an explicit declaration until he had met 
the Raja of Barar ; after meeting him he would inform the 
resident at his court whether it would be peace or war. The 
reply was sufficiently menacing ; but commentary was needless 
when Sindia's army advanced to the borders of the Nizam's 
territory and Bhonsle's forces took up a position near his 
camp. But a further period of grace was accorded the con- 
federates. Colonel Stevenson crossed to the north of the 
Goddwari and General Wellesley moved to within a few miles 
from Ahmadnagar. The Governor-General appointed his 
brother plenipotentiary for all political and military matters in 
the Deccan ; and between General Wellesley and the Maratha 
chieftains a prolonged series of negociations ensued. They pro- 
fessed friendly intentions which their conduct belied ; and in a 
remarkably able document General Wellesley told them that if 
they meant anything by their professions of good will they must 
withdraw their troops within their own borders, upon which he 
promised in like manner to withdraw the British troops. 
The only answer to this proposal could be "yes" or "no;" 
a subterfuge attempting to evade compliance could not but be 
regarded as a refusal. General Wellesley's reply speaks for 
itself. *' Your Highness," he wrote, *' will recollect that 
the British Government did not threaten to commence 


hostilities against joii ; you threatened to commence hostilities 
against the British Government and its allies ; and when 
called on to explain your intentions, you declared it was 
doubtful whether there would he peace or war ; and in 
conformity with your threats and declared doubts you 
assembled a large army in a station contiguous to the 
Nizam's frontier. On this ground I called upon you to with- 
draw that army to its usual station if your subsequent 
pacific declarations were sincere ; but instead of complying 
with this reasonable request you propose that I should 
withdraw the troops which are intended to protect the territories 
of our allies against your designs ; and that you and the Raja 
of Barar should be suffered to remain with your troops assem- 
bled in readiness to take advantage of their absence. This 
proposition is unreasonable and inadmissable, and you must 
stand the consequences of the measures which I find myself 
compelled to adopt in order to repel your aggression. I offered 
you peace on terms of equality, and honourable to all parties ; 
you have chosen war and are responsible for the consequences." 
The Governor-General was fully prepared for war and he 
resolved to strike his enemy on every side at once. To 
General Lake he intrusted the task of occupying Sindia's 
possessions between the Jumna and the Ganges, and of crushing 
the battalions disciplined by De Boigne and his successor 
Perron. Colonel Woodington was sent against Broach and 
Sindia's forts in the direction of Guzarat ; on the other side 
of India, Colonel Harcourt invaded Katak and the remainder 
of the Barar Raja's territories, while General Wellesley and 
Colonel Stevenson had to deal with the main body of Sindia's 
army in the Deccan. Lord Wellesley had led a splendidly 
equipped force against Mysur. His present forces were 
arrayed on a more stupendous scale, and his armies were sent 


into the field with resources hitherto unknown in Indian 
warfare* His wise selection of leaders, and his confidence in 
his agents, roused the enthusiasm of all to the highest pitch. 
The various British forces amounted to 55,000 men, of whom 
8,930 were under the personal command of General Wellesley 
and 7,920 under Colonel Stevenson. The armies opposed to 
them were about double their number. 

On the 3rd of August the resident withdrew from Sindia's 
camp, an act equivalent to a declaration of war. Wellesley 
was encamped at Walki, eight miles south of Ahmadnagar ; 
and, after a few days' delay caused by heavy rain, he marched 
against the city of Ahmad on the 8th of that month. He 
first took the town, which was surrounded by a mud wall and 
obstinately defended by Sindia's troops. The promptness of 
this proceeding filled the enemy with consternation. "Who 
could withstand a people," they said, " who came and looked 
at the city wall, walked over it, killed the garrison, and 
returned to breakfast?" On the 10th a battery was opened 
on the fortress which since the time of Chand Bibi had the 
reputation of being almost impregnable. The firing was tre- 
mendous, and the commandant desired that it might cease 
while he treated for terms. He was told that what he chose 
to say would be heard, but that the firing would only cease 
when the fort was taken or surrendered. On the 12th it was 
surrendered. A large tamarind tree is still shown on the 
glacis under which General Wellesley breakfasted after the 
fort was given up. The general considered Ahmadnagar, 
from its strength and position, an excellent base of operations. 

Sindia's intention was now to plunder the Nizam's dis- 
tricts towards Hydarabiid, but General Wellesley's advance 
through Aurangabiid prevented him from carrying out his 
plan. Neither Bhonsle nor Sindia were experienced or 


skilful strategists ; and their views as to their operations 
clashed. The consequence was a series of feeble and incon- 
sistent movements. When Wellesley moved down the Goda- 
wari the Marathas moved up ; and while he was forced to 
await supplies Stevenson was equally unsuccessful in 
endeavouring to bring on an action. But on the 21st of 
September the whole of the Maratha army w^as encamped near 
the village of Bokardan ; and the two English generals meeting 
on the same day agreed that they should move separately 
and attack the enemy on the 24th. On the 23rd Wellesley 
was about to encamp at the village of Nalni, when he learnt 
from his spies that the whole of the Maratha army was lying 
on the Kaitna river, not six miles from where he was. The 
force with him was only 4,500 men, but it included the 19tli 
hght Dragoons and the 74th and 78th Highlanders. This 
handful of men was opposed to more than ten times their 
number. But Wellesley knew that there was but one way 
to meet an Indian foe, and without waiting for Stevenson he 
instantly attacked the united armies of Sindia and Barar. 
Had he not done so, he said, he must have been surrounded 
by the superior cavalry of the enemy, his troops would 
have been starved, and he would have had nothing left, but 
to hang himself to his tent-poles. Sindia' s cannon and in- 
fantry, which Wellesley meant to destroy, were on the Maratha 
left, near the village of Assaye,^ his cavalry on their 
right, his whole force in the angle between two streams, 
the Kaitna and its tributary the Jua. The Kaitna was 

*' " This is he that fai* away. 

Against the myriads of Assaye, 
Clashed, with a fiery few, and won ! " 

•—Tennyson's ^^ Ode on the death of 
the Duke of Wellington.'* 


between ^Yellesley and the enemy ; the English therefore 
had to cross that stream and cut their way to Assaye 
on the Jua. The confined space between the streams would 
be more suitable to the movements of a small body of troops 
than the enormous forces of the Marathas, who were obliged 
to diminish their front when Wellesley threw his army across 
the river. As the British lines were forming in their new 
position a terrific cannonade was opened upon them. The 
cattle that drew their guns were killed and the guns disabled. 
To the officer that sent this information Wellesley coolly 
replied that he must manage to get on without them. The 
execution in the British ranks was fearful, and the 74th was 
almost annihilated by the cannonade and a charge of the 
Maratha horse. For the moment the outlook was gloomy. 
But Wellesley ordered his cavalry to advance ; and with a 
British cheer the 19th Dragoons, followed closely by the 4th 
Native cavalry, who proved themselves worthy comrades, 
dashed at the Maratha horsemen. Cheered by the very 
wounded of the 74th, they utterly routed the horse and 
pressed on to the infantry and guns. The British infantry 
followed them well ; the enemy gave way, and were thrust 
into the Jua at the point of the bayonet. One of the fiercest 
battles in Indian warfare was won. The result was as decisive 
as that of Plassey ; but the fight was won over an enemy 
infinitely superior, and the British general lost a third of his 
forces in killed and wounded. Siodia and Barar fled from 
the field and left their troops to their fate. 

Close to the general in this fight was a young civilian in 
the Company's service named Mountstuart Elphinstone, who 
by his coolness in action and thorough knowledge of the 
native languages attracted Wellesley's notice. He had been 
assistant to Colonel Close, the resident at Puna ; and he was 


in that city when Wituji Holkar was murdered by Baji Rao, 
and at Bassein when the treaty was signed with the Peshwa. 
He subsequently had a most distinguished career, finally 
becoming Governor of Bombay ; and he lived long enough 
to hear from his nephew Lord Elphinstone in 1858, the result 
of the Indian mutiny. 

As soon as Stevenson joined Wellesley he was despatched 
in pursuit of the enemy tow^ards the North. He took 
Burhanpur and reduced Asirgahr without much loss bv 
October 21st, and officers from Hydardbad took charge of 
the Khandesh districts which thus fell to the disposal of the 
Company. Meanwhile, Colonel Woodington was equally 
successful in Guzarat. Broach was stormed and taken 
before the end of August, and the town and fort of Champaner 
by the middle of September. General Lake, too, won victory 
after victory over Sindia's forces in Hindustan under their 
latest leader Louis Bourquin ; Perron having been ousted 
by intrigues and permitted by the English to retire to 
Chandarnagar, the French settlement near Calcutta. The 
fort of Aligahr was taken by extraordinary efforts. Lake 
defeated the ^larathas under the walls of Delhi and entered 
in triumph the city of the Great Moghal. Shah Alam the 
aged emperor, who for fifteen years had been sightless, 
received the conqueror in the faded remnants of imperial 
state, and a second time received the protection of the 
Company. Lake's work was not yet done. He marched on 
Agra and took it on October I8th, and in the most obsti- 
nate engagement of the campaign defeated the enemy 
at Laswari. The victory cost the English army 824 men 
in killed and wounded ; but it overthrew the brigades 
of Sindia, and the British Government was supreme over 
Delhi and Agra, and all S India's possessions north of the 


Chambal. General Lake became Lord Lake of Delhi and 
Laswari. The conquest of Katak was effected with equal 

General Wellesley followed up his great victory with spirit 
and enterprise. Raghoji Bhonsle turned to his own domi- 
nions, pursued by the British forces, whose object was to 
capture the great hill fortresses of Narnalla and Gawilgahr. 
Stevenson after his operations in Khiindesh rejoined Wellesley 
in the Deccan ; and Sindia now deemed it advisable to sue 
for a cessation of arms until a permanent arrangement could be 
entered into. "Wellesley granted an armistice until the 22nd 
of November on condition that Sindia should move consider- 
ably to the eastward. To the Raja of Barar no terms were 
granted. Sindia accepted the truce, but promptly broke its 
conditions ; and the remnant of his forces united with Baghoj 
Bhonsle. It was necessary at once to crush their resistence, 
and Wellesley determined to attack them as soon as possible. 
On the afternoon of November 29th, when at the close of a 
long march he was halting to pitch his camp, he found him- 
self suddenly opposed by the confederate forces. It was late 
in the day, but Wellesley declared that there was time enough 
before night to take the Mardtha guns. "When night fell 
thirty-eight of their guns and all their ammunition were in his 
hands. The defeat of the enemy was complete, and had day- 
light lasted an hour longer not a man would have escaped. 
But the English were at one time during the fight in serious 
danger. ** The Native infantry were panic-struck," Wellesley 
wrote, *• and got into confusion when the cannonade com- 
menced. What do you think of nearly three entire 
battalions who behaved so admirably in the battle of 
Assaye, being broke and running off when the cannonade 
commenced at Argaum, which was not to be compared to 


that at Assaje ? Luckily I happened to be at no great distance 
from them ; and I was able to rally them and re-establish the 
battle. If I had not been there, I am conyinced we should 
have lost the day. But as it was, so much time elapsed before 
I could form them again that we had not daylight enough 
for everything that we should have certainly performed." 
Elphinstone was again close to AVellesley throughout the 
fight, and during the subsequent laborious operations by which 
the stupendous fortress of Gawilgahr was captured. At this 
siege Wellesley told him that he had mistaken his profession 
and ought to have been a soldier. The Marathas were now 
thoroughly disheartened and negociations opened in earnest. 
On December 17th Ilaghoji Bhonsle Raja of Barar ceded 
Katak including Balasur, the whole of Barar lying west of the 
Warda river, and resigned all claim^s on the Niz:im. Elphin- 
stone, who was only twenty-four, was appointed resident to the 
Raja, such was the confidence that General Wellesley had 
in his tact and judgment. Daolat Rao Sindia endeavoured 
in vain to resist the English demands. On being told 
that failure to comply with them would be followed by 
the annexation of all his dominions, he agreed, on December 
30th, to accept the terms offered. He relinquished the ter- 
ritory between the Ganges and the and all but two 
districts^^in Rajputana. The forts of Ahmadnagar and Broach 
with their districts and his possessions on the Godawari all 
went ; and he resigned all claims on the Moghal emperor, 
the British Government, thePeshwa, the Nizam, the Gaikw.4r, 
or other allies. He agreed to exclude Europeans other 
than English from his dominions. Major Malcolm, another 
future Governor of Bombay, was appointed resident. Burhan- 
pur and Asirgahr were restored to Sindia, and he still held a 
large and compact territory in Central India centring on 

224 HISTORY or the Bombay beesidency. 

Gwalior. In the month of Fehrnary 1804, by a new article 
in this treaty, he accepted a defensive alHance. 

The first !JkJaratha war had lasted seven years. The whole 
of the operations in the second were completed in four months 
and four days. It had been carried on simultaneously in four 
parts of India, hundreds of miles away from each other with 
steady and brilliant success. The British Government obtained 
a vast increase of territory, but chiefly in the North and East 
of India, a few districts near Surat and Bankapur in the 
Southern Maratha Country being ceded to the Peshwa in 
return for his claims on the new acquisition of Bandalkand. 
The Nizam gained greatly by this war, the province of Barar 
being assigned to him as a free gift. But the Peshwa, 
having failed to furnish the aid which he could have afforded, 
and having otherwise gained immensely by the campaign, 
received only the fort and district of Ahmadnagar. 

On the 13th of March 1804 Major-General Wellesley 
made a triumphant entry into Bombay, arriving in the Gov- 
ernor's jacht from Panwel. Mr. Duncan and his Council 
made splendid preparations to welcome the successful soldier. 
Bombay had passed through an anxious time. For years 
past her citizens had been incessantly on the alert for the 
arrival of a French fleet in their harbour. The period of 
suspense was at last gone by, and the dream of a French 
empire in Hindustan was passed and gone. A great 
storm had wrecked every ship in the harbour and 
destroyed hundreds of lives ; a fire had made havoc 
of their city ; famine had raged in their midst : and in 
1802 one of the English sepoys had shot dead the 
Persian ambassador in their streets. But prosperity was 
returning to the city and Arthur Wellesley had delivered 
them from all possibility of danger from without. In reply 


to tlie congratulations on his successful campaign, he informed 
the citizens of Bombay that it was peculiarly gratifying to 
him to have been instrumental in renewing the benefits of 
peace to a settlement, from the resources and public sph*it of 
Avhich the departments under his command had derived the 
most essential aids during the prosecution of the war. 

The Duke of Wellington, as he was to be, has left on 
record some memorable words on the condition of the 
•country. It was a time of misery and oppression, deceit and 
subterfuge. " From the Peshwa," he wrote, *' to the lowest 
cooly in the bazaar in Puna, there is not a Maratha in whom it 
is possible to rely that he will perform any engagement upon 
Avhich he enters unless urged to the performance by his 
fears." Puna he described as a country which deserved the 
name of a desert. Famine raged in the Deccan. Habits of 
industry were out of the question and men had to plunder 
for subsistence, be destroyed or starve. *' There was no law," 
he said, '* no civil government, and no arm}^ to keep plunderers 
in order. No revenue could be collected ; no inhabitant 
could or would remain to cultivate unless protected by an 
armed force stationed in his village.'' Btiji Rao's government 
was that of a robber, the Peshwa being callous to everything 
except money and revenge. In fact, as Sir James Mack- 
intosh, the recorder of Bombay, expressed it, it is difficult 
to see for what taxes were paid except to bribe the sovereign 
not to murder or rob the inhabitants. Tliere was no justice 
.save what the system of village communities supplied. The 
disorder at that time was only an exaggerated })hase 
of its usual and ordinary state. Of Bombay Wellesley 
wrote, on the other hand, oblivious of some disagreements 
that he had had with its Government, '*This island has now 
(1804) become the only place of security, in this part of 


India, for property and for those who are the subjects of the 
Peshwa's enmity and vengeance, a circumstance equalh* 
honourable to the character of the British nation and advan- 
tageous to their interests, and affording the strongest proof 
of the confidence 'svhich the natives repose in the justice and 
wisdom of our pohcy and our h^ws." 

In addition to the advantages gained by the war, a further 
subsidiary treaty of general defensive alliance was concluded 
at Baroda in April 1805 with Anand Rao Gaikw^r. By 
various agreements, in 1802 the Guzarat chief had agreed to 
maintain a contingent of 2,000 men. The force was now 
raised to 5,000, and districts yielding nearly ]2 lakhs of 
rupees (58120,000) assigned for their support. The districts 
included Chawnissi, Chikli and Kaira, together with the share 
of the revenues of Surat which the Gaikwar had received 
before. Further, no European was to be received into his 
service, and no act of aggression to be committed against any 
other power without the sanction of the British Government. 
Colonel Walker, the resident, directed the affairs of Baroda 
with singular ability. Thus, at the close of the war, the 
Bombay Presidency was still very small as compared with 
Bengal and Madras. The Company's frontier to the east was 
the fort of Thana on the borders of Salsette, not twenty-five 
miles from Bombay. In the Konkan they only possessed Fort 
A'ictoria at Bdnkot, and a few villages for its maintenance 
which they had held for more than half a century. Above the 
Ghats they possessed nothing in what is now Bombay. In 
Guzarat they had obtained a considerable number of places, 
but the districts were scattered and far apart. In the South 
the Company held Kanara with the port of Karwar, but it 
formed part of the Madras Presidency, 

( 227 ) 


WHEN the second Maratlia war broke out Holkar had 
declared his intention of standing aloof from either 
side. His proceedings afterwards were singularly short- 
sighted, and foreshowed the insanity which seized him in 
1808 and lasted till his death in 1811. Far from taking warning 
at the crushing defeat inflicted en Sindia, and avoiding a like 
fate himself, he openly rejoiced at his rival's discomfiture. 
He determined, as he expressed it, *' to fight Lake," and take the 
place of Sindia in Hindustan. His army was a nucleus for 
all the disbanded soldiery of the defeated confederates ; and 
they reaped a golden harvest of plunder in Malwa and the 
lliijput States. Ycshwant Rao had therefore to be put 
down. General Lake moved into Rajputana and a success- 
ful beginning was made before the rainy season. But 
Colonel Monson, who had gained a great reputation in the 
previous campaign, wished to effect a junction with Colonel 
Murray, who was advancing from Guzarat. He proceeded 
without due caution into Holkar's territory, only to find that 
Murray was retiring towards Guzarat, and that Holkar was 
advancing against him in great force. His own supplies were 
exhausted and could not be replenished. Monson's sole 
chance of extricating himself from his difficulty was at once to 
attack the superior forces of the enemy. But he adopted that 
course which invariably fails, retreat before an Asiatic foe. 
His retrogade movement stimulated the courage and ardouz 


of Holkar's troops, who attacked him on every side. For 
three days he retreated in fair order with his baggage and 
guns, bravely repelling the overwhelming numbers of the 
enemy. But the rains had set in, and the ground was soft : 
he was compelled to abandon his baggage, spike his guns, 
and destroy his ammunition. The wearied troops pursued 
their retreat, but were allowed no rest by the jubilant 
enemy ; and during their march, on a dark night, they were 
thrown into hopeless confusion. The retreat became a flight, 
and the shattered remains of the British force reached Agra 
by the end of August. 

Lord Wellesley was amazed when he heard of the disaster. 
As usual in India, the slightest reverse to the British arms 
raised a host of enemies on every side ; and the protected 
princes began to think that they might yet break the bonds 
of British supremacy. Yeshwant Rao, who was compared to 
Shiwaji, marched against Delhi; but his attempt in October 
to take it and seize the emperor was gallantly resisted 
by Colonel Ochterlony. Holkar left Delhi and burst into 
the Doab harrying and wasting the country. But General 
Lake was on his track, and his pursuit was as persistent 
and effective as that of Monson by Uolkar had been 
vindictive. At the battle of Dig, Holkar's forces were routed 
with a loss of 2,000 men and 87 guns, while the British loss 
was 643. General Monson, by his splendid bravery in the 
battle, restored to his name the lustre which his former 
retreat had sullied. Holkar's troops moved eastward to 
Farakabad, but Lake overtook them and routed them with 
a loss of 3,0C0 of their number. Holkar threw himself into 
the fort of Dig by December 13th, but Lake took the fort. 
Holkar himself escaped ; and instead of pursuing him, whicli 
might have been the wiser course, Lake, in January 1805, 


laid siege to the strong fort of Bhartpur, whose Raja had 
signed a treaty that made him a vassal of the British Govern- 
ment, but who had broken through it on the news of Monson's 
defeat. A large number of Holkar's guns and the remnant 
of his army were within the fort. Four months were wasted 
before its huge mud walls, into which the cannon-balls sank 
harmlessly. In February the Bombay division, under General 
Jones, joined the Bengal army ; and in furious assaults, be- 
fore and after their arrival, the English lost 3,200 in killed 
and wounded. The walls were unshaken, but the Maratha 
troops were incessantly defeated without the fortress. The 
Kaja of Bhartpur realised that he had made a mistake, and 
seing that their failures were only stimulating the English, 
to fresh exertions he offered terras. He was readmitted into 
the number of protected princes on payment of ^200,000. 

Lake moved in pursuit of Ilolkar, who seemed likely to 
be joined by Sindia at the urgent entreaties of his brutal 
father-in-law Ghatge. But Sindia's heart was not in the 
work ; his troops fell back to Ajmir, followed by those of 
Holkar, over whom Lake was winning victory after victory. 

Lord Wellesley would in fact have shortly brought the 
whole war to a triumphant conclusion. But while his suc- 
cesses had silenced the rising murmurs of the Directors 
against his forward policy, his first failure was followed by 
an overwhelming opposition ; and in July 1805 the aged Lord 
('ornwallis arrived at Calcutta with instructions to undo all 
that the brave and far-seeing Wellesley had done. 

The rule of Lord Wellesley was a memorable and glorious 
one. While Lidia in no sense formed a country or a nation, 
so neither did the ever-changing states and powers within its 
borders form nations or powers that could be compared to 
those of Europe. Some of the reigning Rajput families had 


in truth ruled for generations prior to the coming of 
Alexander, three centuries before the Christian era. But 
such a state of things ^vas entirely exceptional. The 
empire of Babar was not yet 300 years old and it had long 
since crumbled into dust. The viceroys of his empire had 
formed themselves into independent princes and in their turn 
were set aside by subjects stronger than themselves. Whatever 
the origin of European kingdoms, they as a general rule 
formed societies, in which for a long series of generations the 
rulers and the people had been one in interest, race, religion, 
and custom ; and to greater or less extent the rulers were 
the representatives of the people. In India there was nothing 
of the kind. The existing powers had one and all sprung up 
since the coming of the English themselves. They were all 
founded on wrong and robbery, on the simple principle of the 
spoils to the strongest. Their dominions extended as far as 
their arms could be carried, their subjects were as many as 
they could compel by force to obey them. The idea of a 
government existing for the benefit of its subjects would have 
been altogether ludicrous. These rulers were ever engaged 
in war and plunder, and for the very existence of the East 
India Company it was necessary that this anarchy on its 
borders should cease. Non-intervention had failed, the 
balance of power between such seething and shifting forces 
was absurd and preposterous. Lord Wellesley saw that one 
course only was possible, and that the English must recognise 
themselves as the paramount power and wiih a strong 
hand put down aggressive warfare and tumult among the 

But the Court of Directors at home thought otherwise. 
They were criminally ignorant of the real condition of 
India ; they shut their eyes to palpable facts. British 


supremacy was to them a bug-bear. They preferred to 
remain merchants, dwelling on sufferance on the coasts of the 
Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal, to building up a vast 
•empire by expensive military operations. Lord Wellesley's 
policy was to be reversed ; but it was not to be replaced by 
the balance of power — that humiliation was insufficient — and 
-absolute non-intervention was again to come into force. It is 
difficult to read of such madness and cowardice without a 
feeling of shame and indignation. But if the Court of 
Directors stand condemned at the bar of history, what can 
be said of Lord Corn^vallis, who condescended to do their 
hidding, who himself as Governor-General had taken com- 
mand of a magnificent British army and crushed the robber 
xjhieftain of Mysur ? 

Fortunately for India Lord Cornwallis only lived two 
months, but in that short period he did his best to shatter 
his reputation as a statesman. He was succeeded by the senior 
member of Council, Sir George Barlow, w^ho ruled for two 
years. He had supported Lord Wellesley's policy. He had 
now no choice except between resigning his office or reversing 
that policy. He preferred the sweets of office to the interests 
of the empire, and carried on Lord Cornwallis's retrogade 

It is not pleasant to linger on the doings of Lord Corn- 
wallis and Sir George Barlow. Sir John Malcolm was in- 
•structed to draw up a treaty with Holkar restoring him all 
liis territories except the fort of Tonk Rampura. But to the 
upholders of the new regime there was the gall of bitterness 
in this exception, and Tonk Bampura was handed over to 
Holkar too. The alliances with the Rajas of Jaypur and 
iBundi w^ere dissolved in spite of the earnest remonstrances of 
Lord Lake, who prophesied the punishment that would fall 

232 nisTorvY of the bomhat rnEsiDEXCv. 

upon them for their services to the British. Siiiclia -was 
concihated by the restoration of Gohad and Gwahor, and all 
his territory except the Do/ib. Delhi was an incumhrance to 
the British ; and Lord Cornwallis proposed to give it up to 
Sindia and withdraw the emperor to Calcutta. All the 
sovereign states were to be left to themselves to fight with 
and plunder each other as they pleased while the English 
looked on at the imposing spectacle. As Sir George Barlow 
himself had formerly said, *' The national interests of 
England in India are to rest upon the certain operation of 
contending and circumscribed interests among the states, 
whose independence will admit of the individual views of 
rapine, incroachment, and ambition." 

Holkar felt like a prisoner released from his chains. He- 
at once set to work to extort enormous sums from our ally the 
Raja of Jaypur. In vain could the Raja appeal to Lord Lake. 
His hands w^ere tied by non-intervention, and in his disgust 
he resigned his political functions. Lake had promised pro- 
tection to the Raja of Bundi if he withstood the advance of 
Holkar. The Raja had resisted him gallantly ; but ^^hen 
Holkar ravaged his lands, the fetish of non-intervention pre- 
vented the English fulfilling tlieir promise. Lake had to 
look on with folded hands, and eat his heart with rage and 
shame. Holkar in fact had a glorious opportunity of indulg- 
ing the tastes of a wild beast, and he took advantage of it 
to the utmost. He put his own nephew and brother to 
death. He cast cannon and greatly increased his army. It 
was impossible to say to what extent his vagaries might not 
take him, when his excesses brought on furious madness, 
and he was placed in restraint until his death in 1811. 
Tulsi Bai, his mistress, became regent in the name of 
an adopted child, Malhar Rao Holkar ; and bloodshed and 


anarchy prevailed in the provinces, bribery, intrigue, and 
murder at the court. 

Sir George Barlow had probably some difficulty in digest- 
ing the dish that he had prepared. But not even he had 
drunk to the dregs the Company's policy of self-efFacement, 
and the Directors declared that they would be satisfied with 
nothing less than the restoration of all territories conquered 
during the war. This was more than even Barlow could 
stomach, and he pointed out that such a course would let 
loose Maratha hordes who would make a desperate struggle 
to overturn British power in India. The remaining Native 
chiefs on their part thought it only their due to receive 
the same liberal treatment granted to Holkai', and the 
Buja of Barar now generally known as the Baja of 
Nagpur, from the name of his capital, was bitterly ag- 
grieved that Barlow would not restore him Katak, which 
the Governor-General deemed essential to the defence 
of Bengal. One and all, they considered it expedient to 
open new schemes. At the instigation of the Nizam, the 
Peshwa, wdiose very existence depended on the English^ 
plotted with Sindia and Holkar to get rid of their control. 
Sir George Barlow's eyes were opened to the suicidal nature of 
his policy, and the new league was promptly suppressed. He 
did not much longer hold his great office A horrible 
mutiny occured at Vellore in Madras, involving the slaughter 
of the European garrison while they were asleep. Lord 
^Villiam Bentinck,the Governor of Madras— whose injudicious 
measures had paved the way for it — was recalled, and Sir 
George Barlow took his place. 

( 234 ) 

XVII.— pindhAri or third marAtha war. 

WITH hardly an exception, all Governors-General of 
India have come out intent upon a peaceful policy. 
The great majority of them have been compelled to make wsly. 
Lord Minto, who arrived in July 1807, was no exception to the 
rule. He found disorder and anarchy ripe in Bandalkand. 
Barlow had let things take their course. Lord Minto allowed 
his common-sense to assert itself ; and, declaring that the 
British Government had no resource but to interfere for the 
suppression of intestine disorder, sent General Martindell 
to subdue the fortresses and suppress the banditti. Nor w^as 
Bandalkand the only scene of the revival of an intelligent 
policy. Amir Khan, a Path an, or Afghan, and a decendant 
of the Afghan soldiers of the empire prior to the Moghals, was 
a chieftain who had allied himself to Yeshwant Rao Holkar in 
his marauding expeditions, and now had great influence with 
Tulsi Bai, the regent for his successor. Besides a large number 
of his own tribe, he had gathered together a body of irregular 
horsemen known as Pindharis. The origin of these men 
is veiled in obscurity ; but they were to the Marathas what 
the carrion-crow is to the vulture. Their ranks were open 
to men of any and every caste, and their only bond was that 
of plunder. They had fought, in large numbers, on the side 
of the Marathas at the fatal field of Panipat. Ranging 
themselves under the great chiefs, they were known as 
Sindia and Holkar's Pindharis ; and it was often convenient to 
despatch them on errands of murder and rapine, and then 


disown responsibility for their actions. The Pindharis were 
iiends in human shape: Their very name was a terror to the 
peaceful population. Marching in bands, thirty or forty miles 
a day, they burnt, plundered, ravished, and slew in every 
direction. Acting on a regularly- devised plan, their various 
parties spread over the country, each in its allotted direction, 
to unite when their work was accomplished and carry 
home their booty. To extort money, they invented the 
most awful tortures. The head of their victim was thurst 
into a hag for feeding horses filled with red-hot ashes, or oil 
was smeared over his clothes and fire set to them. Sindia 
and Holkar might be at peace, but these wretches devastated 
the unhappy country ; and Siiidia and Amir Khan began to 
look to them as the basis for building up a new predatory 
power. The Peshwa's sole idea was to gain all that he could 
for himself from the combination. In 1809 Amir Khan, 
having exhausted his preserves nearer home, led his 
marauding hordes into the territory of the Raja of Barar ; 
and there was no likelihood that his ravages would be 
limited to that territory. The state of things was intolerable, 
and Lord Minto put it down. Amir Khan was checked and 
driven back toHolkar's territory; but Lord Minto's conscience 
smote him for having disobeyed the non-intervention policy, 
and in that territory the Pindharis were still allowed to 
work their will. The Court of Directors, however, with strange 
inconsistency, censured the Governor-General for leaving his 
work undone. 

He had done something, if not enough. In another case he 
did nothing. A horrible and desolating war raged between 
the Rajput kings of Udaipur and Jay pur. The former in 
his distress applied to the British for aid, using the very 
argument of Lord Wellesley, that without a paramount power 

236 HISTORY OF the bomba.y presidency. 

in India there could be no peace, and that no one but the 
English could act as such a power. But non-intervention 
stood in the way of granting the prayer, and a great tragedy 
caused indignation through Western India. 

England was still engaged in the long struggle with 
France. The chimera of a French empire in India was dis- 
solved ; hut France had occupied Portugal and overrun 
Holland. So Goa and the other Portuguese settlements in 
India were garrisoned for the time by British troops, and 
Lord Minto led a successful expedition against the French in 
Java, and took possession of the island. The orders of 
the Court of Directors were that the island should be 
abandoned in the event of its capture. Lord Minto, w ith 
the courage which he frequently but not invariably 
showed, declined to comply with the request. On his return 
to India he again found himself compelled to deal with 
the Pindharis. Emboldened by their success, these loath- 
some ruffians had spread into British territory plundering un- 
checked as far as Gaya. Lord Minto, in his bitterness, asked 
the Court of Directors if he was still to observe neutrality 
and ** refuse to listen to the calls of suffering humanity, and 
interfere to protect weak native states who call upon us for 
assistance." Year by year these savages had been increasing 
in numbers and daring, and spreading desolation over more 
and more distant countries. The Directors had paid little 
heed to them, but the invasion of their own provinces opened 
their eyes to the necessity of at least checking their irruptions. 
But it was reserved to the Governor-General's successor to 
stamp them out. Lord Minto left India in ]813, after an 
efficient administration of the British provinces, and in the 
belief that there was not a cloud in the sky except the 


But Lord Minto was deceived. For there was then rolling 
np and gathering force a thunderstorm which was shortly to 
dash down from its pedestal the throne that Shiwaji had 
founded. Ever since his restoration by their armies, Bjiji 
Rao's chief occupation had been to plot against the British. 
He kept secret agents at the courts of the chiefs who had 
formed the confederacy against the English ; and ascribed his 
connection with that Government to a deplorable necessity 
'which he trusted would soon come to an end. He had a 
^passion for intrigue and was an adept in the acts of deceit. 
His engaging manners exercised a persuasive influence over 
those with whom he had to do, and wormed from them a 
confidence which he bestowed on none. After dissimulation, 
his greatest passion was revenge. With short-sighted policy 
he incited to internecine struggles his feudatory chiefs in the 
South, who had incurred his dislike or whoso loyalty to him- 
self be doubted. He even stirred up the independent Rjija 
of Kolhapur against the vassals of his own empire. The 
result was an incessant warfare that desolated the whole 
•country. The wild tribe of Bhils had given some trouble in 
the north of Ahmadnagar. Finding it impossible to reduce 
them by force, Baji Rao on pretence of a settlement had the 
whole tribe enticed to an interview at Kopargaum where 
they were seized and thrown into wells. The Bhils of 
Khandesh in revenge ravaged the rich plains in the valley of 
the Tclpti. This was only an instance of the treatment con- 
stantly extended to the Bhils by the Manithas. A similar 
atrocity was perpetrated at Dharamgaum in Khandesh. 
Hundreds were enticed into a building, of which the doors 
were closed, and fire set to it and its living contents. 

As far as outward appearances went the relations between 
-the British resident and the Peshwa's court were of the most 


cordial nature. Baji Rao professed warm gratitude to the 
British Government and friendship to Colonel Close. But 
he never ceased to engage in plots and conspiracies to free 
himself from their toils. It is probable that Colonel Close 
was not thoroughly aware of what was going on. In 1810 
he was transferred to the important charge of Hydarabad ; 
and Mountstuart Elphinstone, who had been his assistant in 
1802, and had since been on an important mission to Kabul, 
was after a short interval appointed to succeed him iu 1811. 
With an intimate acquaintance with the native languages, 
Elphinstone possessed a thorough knowledge of the Maratha 
character, and he proved himself eminently capable of dealing 
with the hot-bed of intrigue around him. 

One of the first questions that Elphinstone had to settle 
was the relation of the Peshwa to his feudatory chiefs of the 
South, whom he was doing his best to rob and ruin, A 
tolerable settlement was arrived at by the resident's firmness. 
Some of the chiefs were not unnaturally averse to acknow- 
ledging obedience to such a master as Baji Rao ; and 
Elphinstone had to assemble an army at Pandharpur and 
march to the neighbourhood of the Krishna before they could 
be brought into any degree of order. The service of their 
troops as due to the Peshwa was enforced, lands that they 
had usurped were restored, and they were secured in the 
enjoyment of their just rights. 

In 1812 it was resolved to make a final effort to stamp out 
once for all the pirates on the Western Coast. The chief 
offenders were the Rajas of Kolhapur and Siiwantwari. 
Baji Rao secretly encouraged the R:ija of Kolhapur to resist 
the English demands, and in order to create delay informed 
the resident that the Raja of Kolhjipur was his subject, a 
statement absolutely untrue. The Raja was compelled to 


cede the harbour and fort of Malwan on the Hatnagiii 
coast, and to renounce piracy for good and all, the British 
Government guaranteeing his possessions. The chief of 
Sawantwari by a similar engagement delivered up the fort of 
Wingurla, and the curse of piracy came to an end. In 
securing this result admirable work was done by the Indian 
Navy as also subsequently in the task of rooting out the 
pirates that infested the Persian Gulf and Eed Sea. This 
navy, which formed the police of the Indian seas, was 
abolished after the mutiny, when the Imperial Navy under- 
took the duties which it had performed. 

The southern feudatories of the Peshwa had been com- 
pelled to bow their necks to his yoke, and Baji Rao, to cease 
from ruining them ; but he had no liking for the troops that 
they were bound to provide for him. He applied to the 
English Government to be allowed to raise a brigade of 
infantry to be disciplined by English officers and regularly 
paid like sepoys in the British service. The proposition was 
readily accepted, and Captain Ford who had commanded 
Colonel Close's escort, was selected as commandant. The 
force was cantoned four miles to the north-west of Puna. 
One brigade of British troops was stationed close to the city, 
while the rest of the subsidiary force was at Sirur, half way 
between Puna and Ahmadnagar- Baji Rao's action in raising 
this brigade did not appear inconsistent with good faith to 
the English. But it was designed to aggrandise his position 
with them, and pave the way for his ambitious schemes. He 
gained a further occasion for improving his position by the 
action of Mr. Elphinstone himself, who pressed upon his 
attention the inadequacy of the force maintained to protect 
the country from the Pindharis. It happened that about 
this time a low retainer of Baji Rao by name Trimbakji 


Daiiiglia, who was originally a spy, had gained the confidence 
of the Peshwa, and secured his favour hy pandering to his 
vices. This man detested the English. He had risen to be 
chief director of the Peshwa's councils, and was now ap- 
pointed his minister in his relations with the British Govern- 
ment. Baji Rao trusted this man as he never trusted anyone 
else ; and beneath his influence his designs against the English 
gained strength and definiteness. Trimbakji, unscrupulous, 
treacherous, and violent, gained complete mastery over the 
Peshwa's mind, and secured immunity for whatever villainy 
he liked to perpetrate. He even killed with his own hand a 
rich and respectable Brahman banker, but no notice was 
taken of the action. By the advice of Trimbakji, Baji Rao 
prepared his way for rebellion against the English by greatly 
increasing his army, and consolidating his position as head 
of all the Manlthas. He was at this time possessed of 
immense wealth. All his revenue was f{\rmed out, and he 
saved annually 50 lakhs out of a total of 120. With a 
strange inconsistency he aspired to a character for sanctity, 
while at the same time heindulgedin the grossest debauchery. 
Like most of his countrymen, he was a slave to superstition, 
and he scrupulously observed the ordinances of caste and 
religion. To complaints of his subjects he gave a deaf 
ear ; and if a villager dared to approach his palace he was 
lucky if he got away with a whole skin. In a nominal 
court of justice at Puna, cases were decided by the simple 
method of giving judgement in favour of the suitor who 
would pay most to the judge. 

BAji Rao's object was two-fold, to revive the old Maratha 
policy which would make himself the lord over Sindia, 
Ilolkar, and other chiefs, and to shake off the British yoke. 
In fact one plan involved the other, for the fulfilment of the 


first was incompatible with the relationship which existed 
ijetween himself and the English. Baji Rao was fully bent 
upon a course which involved his own destruction. He 
jiegociated a secret treaty of general confederacy and support 
^^ith Sindia, Holkar, and Bhonsle of Barar, and actually with 
the Pindharis. Their plans were not as yet definitely 
matured, but a crisis was taking place in Bengal towards 
which all their eyes were strained. 

In 181 o Lord Minto had been succeeded by Lord Moira, 
•or, as he may at once be called by his more familiar name, 
the Marquis of Hastings. Like liis predecessor, he came out 
imbued with the notion of the merits of non-intervention. 
Like his predecessor, he speedily learnt the folly of the idea ; 
but unlike him he consistently acted upon his opinions. Lord 
!Minto had left him a hard task to accomplish in the moun- 
tain-kingdom of Nepal ; and for a time the success of the 
British arms was doubtful. As usual on similar emergencies 
enemies showed themselves broadcast. Danger threatened 
from Ranjit Sing and his Sikhs in the Panjab, from the 
Marathas and the Pindharis. But fortune once more smiled 
on the Company's forces ; Nepal was subdued, and the hostile 
combination sank for a short time into masterly inactivity. 

But Lord Hastings realised that the Pindharis at all events 
must go ; and he wrote an earnest despatch to the Court of 
Directors in September 1815 to impress upon them the 
jvbsolute necessity for action. There are none so blind as 
those who refuse to see ; and the Directors, while ordering the 
protection of their own dominions, replied that the Governor- 
General was not at liberty to engage in operations with the 
Pindh-iris either with a view to their utter extirpation or in 
anticipation of expected danger. So for the moment they 
were spared, only to await the destruction destined at once for 


them and the Peshwa who lured them on. The Peshwa, mean- 
while, turned his attention to Guzcinit. The government of 
Baroda had practically fallen into the hands of the resident. 
Colonel Walker. This able officer had done much to settle the 
affairs both of that province, and of the adjacent peninsula 
of Kathiawar, whose Rajput States paid tribute to the 
Gaikwar. In 1804 an arrangement had been made by which 
the Gaikwar paid for ten years an annual revenue of five-and- 
a-half lakhs to the Peshwa for the district of Ahmadabad. 
The ten years had now expired, and the Peshwa resolved to 
take the opportunity of extending his influence in Guzarat. 
He accordingly made considerable claims on the Baroda 
state, while the Gaikwar on his part raised counter-claims. 
It was at last determined to send a confidential agent to 
Puna to negociate the whole matter with the Peshwa. The 
officer deputed was Gangadhar Shastri, a man of great shrewd- 
ness and talent, who in conjunction with Colonel Walker 
had kept the whole state of Baroda in high order. Though 
a learned Shastri, he affected English manners — walked fast, 
talked fast, and mingled colloquial English words freely in his 
speech. The envoy found the Peshwa in no disposition to 
arrive at the settlement for which he had pressed. He had 
not started on his mission with a light heart. He dreaded 
Trimbakji, and had taken the precaution of obtaining a 
direct guarantee of safety from the British Government. 
Realising that he had come on a fool's errand, he determined 
in June 1815 to return to Baroda, and leave the matter at 
issue to the arbitration of the British Government. 

This was not what the Peshwa wanted, and he induced 
the envoy to postpone his departure. Baji Rao used his most 
alluring wiles to bind the Shastri in his own interest 
and so gain an influence at the Baroda court, lie told 


liim that he meant to make him his minister at Puna ; 
and in proof of his sincerity he proposed a marriage hetween 
his sister-in-law and the Shastri's son. Preparations were 
made for the ceremony, when the envoy in sndden dread 
at losing the favour of his own sovereign broke off the 
engagement. He gave more deadly cause of offence by re- 
fusing to let his wife go near the Peshwa's palace and witness 
the scenes of debauchery which constantly took place in 
its precincts. For a time the Peshwa disguised his resent- 
ment ; and Gangadhar Shastri, not dreaming of danger, 
accompanied him in blind confidence on a pilgrimage to 
Pandharpur. On the night of the 14th of July the Peshwa 
admitted him to unusual intimacy, and parted with him with 
the heartiest greetings. But the Shjistri stepped into the 
streets only to be hacked to pieces by the agents of Trim- 
bakji Dainglia. Elphinstone was at Ellora. He immediately 
hurried to Puna ; and, on ascertaining the facts, demanded of 
the Peshwa the prompt apprehension of Trimbakji. *' A 
foreign ambassador," he wrote, ** has been murdered in the 
midst of your Highness' court. A Brahman has been mas- 
sacred almost in the temple during one of the greatest 
solemnities of your religion." The public voice of Maha- 
rashtra, shocked at the murder of a Brahman in a place of 
sanctity, supported the resident in the steps which he took to 
vindicate the broken guarantee of the British Government. 

After a prolonged course of evasion and shuffling, which 
made it clear that Baji Rao*s sympathies lay with Trimbakji, 
Elphinstone brought matters to a head by saying that if 
Trimbakji was not given up he would order the subsidiary 
force to the city, where it would remain till his bidding was 
accomplished. Trimbakji was at last surrendered at the 
end of September (1815.) Ue was confined hi the fort 


of Th:ina, against the advice of Elpliinstoiie, who recom- 
mended that he should be sent to Allahabad. A year 
had hardly passed when he contrived to escape, and betook 
himself to the fastnesses of the mountains (September 
1816). The Peshwa did his best by his friendly demeanour 
to free himself from the suspicion of having aided in his 
escape ; but from this time his plans for a Maratha con- 
federacy against British rule steadily assumed a more definite 
form. The plot rapidly thickend. There were gatherings 
of armed men unchecked by the Peshwa's government. 
Trimbakji was traced from point to point, and Baji Rao 
openly had an interview with him a few miles from Punn. 
Remonstrances from the resident were received first with 
evasions, latterly with impudent denials that troops were 
assembling, or that the Peshwa had any knowledge of 
Trimbakji's movements. Elphinstone was told that if he 
believed in the absurd report of an insurrection he might 
suppress it himself. In this w^ay the hot weather of 1817 
arrived. The Peshwa's object was to gain time while he 
added to his army, plotted with his confederates, and 
supplied Trimbakji with money ; but he carefully avoided 
open rupture with the English. 

This was not the only portion of Western India where 
important events were occurring. The state of Kachh was 
in utter confusion with internal dissensions, and the Rao, or 
chief, was a confirmed drunkard. Under his rule constant 
depredations were made by his subjects upon British and 
protected Gaikwari territory. Remonstrances produced no 
effect, and force had to be applied. An expedition was 
accordingly sent in 1S16 under Colonel East, and the ad- 
ministration of the state taken in hand by the British 


The Peshwa, meanwhile, took no steps to quell the rising 
which was taking place. Detachments of the suhsidiary 
force under Colonel Lionel Smith, which had heen keeping off 
the Pindhciris, were therefore directed against the insurgents. 
Some Madras troops surprised and killed a party of them, 
but not before they had seized and murdered Lieutenant 
Warre of the Madras artillery. The insurgents gained 
ground in Khiindesh, and a fort fell into their hands. It 
was now palpable that the Peshwa was in the most open 
way raising levies, repairing his forts, and aiding Trimbakii. 
Communication with the Governor-General was cut off by a 
disturbance in Katak, but not before it was known that Lord 
Hastings insisted on the surrender of Trimbakji. Elphinstone 
had to act on his own responsibility in the crisis. But he was 
equal to the emergency. Li accordance with his instructions, 
he insisted on the surrender of Trimbakji, and was not deceived 
by Baji Rao's warm protestations that he could intend no 
harm to the British Government to which he owed everything. 
He distinctly told him that a refusal to give up this cause of 
all trouble would involve the necessity of immediate hosti- 
lities. Twenty-four hours were allowed the Peshwa to decide 
whether he would accept the terms offered or fight. The 
conditions were the seizure and surrender of Trimbakji within 
a month, and the instant delivery of the forts of Singahr, 
Purandhar, and Raygahr as a pledge of his good faith. On 
the 7th of May the terms were accepted, and the order for 
the surrender of the forts placed in the resident's hands. 
Three days later there arrived instructions from the Governor- 
General exacting a heavy punishment for the Peshwa's acts 
of barely disguised warfare. The Peshwa had now to bind 
himself to hold no communication with any power except 
the British ; he had to admit the guilt of Trimbakji as the 


murderer of Gangadhar Shastri, the accredited agent of the 
Gaikwar, residing at Puna under the guarantee of the British 
Government. All future demands on the Gaikwar were to he 
relinquished. Instead of furnishing the contingent of 5,000 
horse and 3,000 infantry laid down in the treaty of Bassein, he 
had to cede territory yielding 34 lakhs of revenue. This in- 
cluded Dharwcir and other districts near it that were not 
clearly defined, the Konkan north of Bomhay, and all the 
Peshwa's revenue in Guzarat, as well as the fort of Ahmad- 
nagar. In the following Novemher, as it was found that the 
Gaikwcir's contingent was inefticient, fresh arrangements were 
made for a British garrison, territory being assigned for their 

These were hard and humiliating terms. They reduced 
B:iji Rao's position to so low a degree that he could have 
continued as the head of his state in name alone. AVhen he 
learnt them he renewed his preparations for armed resistance, 
and prepared to leave Puna and join the insurgents. His 
courage again failed, and he at last sullenly affixed his signature 
to the treaty. Elphinstone recorded his opinion that if we 
insisted upon the conditions of this treaty we must he fully 
prepared for his open hostility should the state of India here- 
after favour it ; and it is hard to believe that the Marquis 
of Hastings either expected or wished for any other result, 
lu a despatch of April 12th he had declared his conviction that 
the Peshwa was engaged in a conspiracy hostile (o British 
honour, and that henceforward our aim must be to strengthen 
our military position in his territory. He observed : — 
** An enforced compliance would be sure to leave a rankling 
animosity ; our foresight must then be directed to the 
augmentation of the force in the country in our own interests, 
reform of a part of the establishment, and placing it under a 


British officer independent of the Peshwa." The treaty has 
been condemned as being calculated rather to drive the Peshwa 
to despair than to assure him a permanent supremacy m his 
tlominions. The ftict was that to all intents and purposes he 
had been at Avar Avith the English, and the treaty was such 
as an unsuccessful combatant might expect. Nor was the 
■^piestion of its observance likely to depend upon its stringency. 
The Peshwa had shown by a long course of deception, from 
the date of the treaty of Bassein, that the terms of no con- 
tention would be binding on him longer than he could be 
kept to them by force. 

However, the treaty was concluded, and Lord Hastings 
■rould turn his attention to the Pindharis, and the Pathans 
of Amir Khan, who differed from them little but in name. 
Mr. Canning was now at the head of the Board of Control, 
■and the Governor- General was at last free to act boldly 
against these incurable savages. He w\as given authority 
to repel invasion and chastise the offenders. " We can no 
longer abstain," added Mr. Canning, " from a vigorous exer- 
tion of military power in vindication of the British name, 
^and in defence of subjects who look to us for protection." 
The Calcutta Council, on their part, resolved that vigorous 
measures for the suppression of the PindlrAris had become 
an indispensable act of public duty. A defensive alliance 
was maxle with Apa Saheb, who was Regent of Barar, on 
•behalf of Parsaji, who had succeeded Raghoji Bhonsle. It 
was consequently hoped that the Peshwa and Barar would 
^tand aside ; but it was well known that under pretence of 
-suppressing them, Sindia and Holkar were openly counte- 
nancing the Pindharis. Military operations, therefore, were 
taken upon an immense scale, calculated to meet all emer- 
gencies. The plan was simple, but vast. The Pindharis 


were to be completely suppressed by assembling armies round 
the territories of Holkar and Sindia, and the states of 
Rajputana, Bhopal, and Bandalkand. Sir Thomas Hislop, 
Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army, took command of 
five divisions prepared in the Deccan ; another division 
was made ready in Guzar/it, under General Grant Keir ; and' 
the Marquis of Hastings himself took command of four more 
from Bengal, with two in reserve. Somewhat io the dis-^ 
appointment of Elphinstone, who considered his claims un- 
dervalued. Sir John Malcolm was appointed x\gent to the 
Governor-General with the army in the Deccan. The whole 
British army in the field was not less than 115,000 men, with 
300 guns. It was palpable from the magnitude of the 
forces that Lord Hastings had more in view than the task of 
eradicating the Pindharis. Nor did he wait until that task 
was done to deal with those who chose to use them as 

The first to be dealt with w^is Sindia. Daolat Rao was 
altogether in the dark as to the immense scale of the British 
campaign. He was not prepared for operations that caught 
him as in a net from every side, and when he was requested 
to issue orders for the free ingress and egress of British troops 
through his territory he was astounded. He sought to 
evade compliance, and urged that he had not given up his- 
intention of punishing the Pindharis himself. The contention' 
was treated with contempt. The Governor- GeneraFs plans 
were unfolded to him in detail, and when in open darbar, or 
council, Captain Close, the British resident, placed in his 
hands his own intercepted letters to the Nepalese chiefs, 
proposing a combined attack on the English, he was speech- 
less with confusion. He had little time for consideration. 
Lord Hastings was rapiJly advancing, and in October 181 T 


Sindia concluded a treaty, which removed the Rajput states 
from his authority and placed them under British protection, 
and hound him to maintain a contingent under British officers 
for the suppression of the Pindharis. As security for the 
fulfilment of the terms the forts of Ilindia and Asirgahr were 
to he given up. Slndia's forces were closely watched until 
the end of the contest, and their neutrality assured. 

The campaign that had been thus opened agahist the 
Pindharis was continued in a similar method. One by one 
their protectors were humbled to the dust, little being left to- 
be done with the savage Pindh-iris themselves. The wisdom 
of the Governor-General's plans in preparing an invincible 
force and guarding against danger from every quarter was 
soon manifest. Sindia was accounted for ; but the Peshwn, 
Ilolkar, and the Rjija of Banir were fast hastening to 

In the month of July, the Peshwa went on his usual 
pilgrimage to Pandharpur (page 243). He ostentatiously dis- 
banded a large portion of his cavalry and some infantry ; but 
he advanced his men seven months' pay, and gave them orders 
to hold themselves in readiness for early recall. From Pand- 
harpur he proceeded to Maholi, near Satara, and was there 
met by Sir John Malcolm, who, as Agent to the Governor- 
General, had visited all the courts of the Deccan, both 
to consult the residents and to put himself into personal 
communication with the chiefs. To Sir John Malcolm 
the Peshwa enlarged on the humiliating conditions of the 
late treaty. He indignantly denied that he had ever entered 
into any intrigue against the British Government; and by 
his cordial professions, and his air of candour and good sense, 
lie completely deceived Sir John Malcolm. That officer 
returned to Puna convinced that Baji Rao would prove a 


faithful ally. Wis forts were restored to him in August 
and he was encouraged to raise troops. Elphinstone made no 
secret of his very contrary opinions, hut could not oppose 
this liberal system. But he did not disguise his anxiety at 
the exposed state of the handful of troops at Puna, after the 
advance of General Smith's division to the frontier. He 
therefore requested that the Company's European regiment 
fi'oni Bombay should join the detachment at Puna. The 
Peshwa did not return to Puna till the end of September. 
Trimbakji had been succeeded in the post of general adviser 
and confidant to the Peshwa by a man named Bapu Gokla ; 
and by his counsel Baji Rao determined to enter upon open 
hostility as soon as his designs were prepared. The recommen- 
dation of Sir John Malcolm that he should recruit his army 
^igainst the Pindharis w^as an excellent cloak under disguise 
of which he could increase his forces against the English. 
Gokla was the leader of all his measures, and he received an 
advance of nearly a million sterling to complete his warlike 

But the Peshwa's pet schemes were the assassination of 
the resident and the corruption of his native troops, and 
€ven of their European officers. He commissioned a man 
named Yeshwant Rao Ghorpure, who was intimate with 
these officers, to carry out this plan. Yeshwant Bao had no 
objection to receiving an advance of 50,000 rupees. But he 
kept the money, and w%arned. Elphinstone of what he was 
likely to expect. Gokla, too, much as he detested the English, 
disdained to commit sd base a crime as that proposed by 
Baji Rao, that he should entrap the resident to a conference 
<'\nd murder him. But Baji Rao was bitterly hostile to 
Elphinstone, and he endeavoured to get Trimbakji, \uth 
a body of Bliils, to surprise the residency by night and 


carry out his infamous design. On the 14th of October an 
interview took place for the last time between the Peshwa 
and the resident. The Peshwa was still profuse in his 
professions of loyalty, and repeated his assurances that his 
troops should be promptly sent against the Pindharis. 

On the 19th of October the festival of the Dassara took 
place. In every Hindu state it is the regular time for the 
annual muster of troops, being as it is at the close of the 
rains, and the commencement of the season for military opera- 
tions. It is also an occasion for military display as the 
anniversary of the mythical capture of Ceylon by king 
Rcima. A magnificent gathering of troops was held by the 
Peshwa, no ceremony that could add to the pageant being 
omitted. The resident was treated with marked discourtesy, 
and a large body of cavalry galloped up as if to charge the 
British troops, but wheeled aside at the very moment when 
the charge seemed about to be delivered. It was a piece of 
swagger, which may have been called to mind on both sides, 
when a few months later one of the three weak battalions 
then present repulsed the whole Maratba army. It was a 
time of intense anxiety. The Peshwa's troops were crowding 
into Puna. General Smith was at a distance, and the Euro- 
pean regiment from Bombay could hardly arrive before 
the 5th of November. Parties of the enemy hustled and 
crowded on the British troops in their cantonments. The 
Peshwa knew of the coming reinforcements from Bombay, 
and deliberated on the advantage of attacking the resident 
before their arrival. On the night of the 28th his guns 
were yoked, horses saddled, and infantry under arms. 
At midnight Elphinstone received the information. Should 
he not anticipate the attack ? But he knew that 
directly the Peshwa engaged in open hostihties, Sindia end 


others would at once show their true colours. It was advis- 
able to Avait unless compelled to fight. While Elphinstone 
stood thus deliberating on his terrace the din in the city died 
away ; the Peshwa's attack was postponed. The next day 
the crowding of the Maratha cavalry upon the English 
brigade was more offensive than ever. Elphinstone sent a 
message to the Peshwa, pointing out the intolerable nature of 
these proceedings, and confined his own men to their quarters 
to prevent any premature contest. To Gokla the message 
seemed one of insufferable insolence. He wished to attack 
the English at once while the European regiment was still at 
a distance. But the Peshwa hesitated. A night was wasted in 
consultation; and at four o'clock, on the morning of the 30th, 
the European regiment under Major Wilson, who was 
apprised of the crisis, by incredible exertions marched into 
the cantonment. The English at Puna could once more 
breathe freely. But the position which they occupied was 
bad, and on November 1st they moved out to Khirki, a 
village four miles off. The Marathas promptly plundered 
the old cantonment, and commenced their former tactics of 
pressing upon and hustling the British in their new position. 
Elphinstone remained for the time at his residency on the 
Sangam. Meanwhile, General Smith had been informed of 
the impending struggle. He therefore sent back his light 
battalion to Sirur, and concentrated his force at Phultamba 
on the Godawari. On the 3rd Elphinstone summoned the 
light battalion to Puna. The Peshwa at last made up his 
mind to attack. By the morning of the 5th his preparations 
were made. Even then he once more attempted to negociate. 
He sent a message to Elphinstone, desiring him to send away 
the European regiment and reduce his native battalion, as such 
a large assembly of troops near Puna was offensive to him. 


Elphinstone's sole reply ^\as that a removal of troops must 
commence on the Peshwa's side. Baji Rao therefore warned 
him of the consequence of his proceedings, and threatened 
that he himself would leave Puna and never return should 
the resident continue obstinate. The conversation was pro- 
longed as far as possible by the Maratha messenger. At last 
he withdrew. The Peshwa's officers left their quarters at 
the palace and placed themselves at the head of their troops. 
Baji Rao proceeded to the temple of Parbati, which his 
ancestor had built, whence he could from a safe distance 
command a view over the undulating plain of Khirki. 
Elphinstone and his party left the residency and joined the 
British forces at Khirki. The Maratha army was between 
the residency and the camp. He therefore crossed the river 
Mula by a ford which then existed — the present dam at 
Puna not having been built — marched up the left bank of 
the river, and recrossed it at Khirki by a bridge. 

It was the afternoon of a sultry Deccan day. The heat 
was almost stifling. There was not a breath of wind to blow 
aside the clouds of dust. The Maratha army poured out 
from Puna in the direction of Khirki through fields where the 
rich grain stood ready for the harvest. The spectacle was 
most imposing. The low hills that edged the plateau were 
covered with infantry. Endless streams of horsemen issued 
from the city, and covered the whole surface of the plain. 
The air was filled with the trampling of horses and the 
rumbling of cannon. The peasants fled from their work in 
the harvest fields. Their bullocks broke off from their yokes 
and raced away in terror. The mighty wave of soldiers 
moved onward in all the pomp of war with apparently irre- 
sistible force. But the battle was not to be to the strong. 
Nothing daunted at. this vast host, which out-numbered 


them almost twelve to one, the English force of 2,800, of 
whom 800 only were Europeans, was eager for the fray. At 
the earnest advice of the resident they did not wait to be 
attacked. Gallantly led by Colonel Burr, they dashed at the 
advancing enemy. The Marathas were astounded hy this 
act of daring. Their spirits were already damped hy an 
evil omen, for the staff of their Jari Patka, or national 
standard, had broken in twain ere they left the city. Gokla 
did all that a brave soldier could do to encourage his trooi)S, 
and he led in person a brilliant cavalry charge. But before 
a company of the European regiment could come near, the 
heroic Seventh Bombay N'ative Infantry, under Colonel Burr 
himself, hurled back the ranks of the horsemen beneath the 
hill of Ganesh Khind. The battle was won. The Maratha 
army was utterly disconcerted by the unexpected onslaught 
of the British forces. The guns were driven off, and the 
field of battle was cleared. The British loss was trifling, that 
of the Marathas 500 men. The British returned after night-fall 
to their position at Khirki, and the next morning the light 
battalion and some auxiliary horse joined them from Sirur. 

AVhile the battle was being fought the residency, by Baji 
llao's orders, was plundered and burnt; of the resident's own 
apartments and library not one stone was left upon another. 
The families of sepoys in the English ranks were robbed and 
mutilated, trees torn up, and graves demolished. Two 
British officers, brothers, named Yaughan, taken prisoner at 
Talegaum, were barbarously hanged. 

Bitter was the despair of the Peshwa as he witnessed the 
battle of Khirki from his temple at Parbati, and he })ourcd 
out terrible upbraidings on those who .had urged him to 
defy the British power. The Maratha empire was at an 
end. It had been founded by the massacre of Afzul Kh:in 


at Pratapgalir ; it fell with the attempted massacre of the 
British resident at Puna. 

Elphinstone hardly realised the momentous result of the 
battle. With the movements of troops during: the action he 
had not interfered. But it was he who had insisted upon the 
necessity of commencing the battle by attacking the enemy, 
and by general consent the honour of the day was his. But 
from his own description of the battle, it would he su[)posed 
that it was solely to Colonel Burr, a gallant but still crippled 
old soldier, who was suffering at the time from an incurable 
disease, that the victory was due. In moving a vote of 
thanks to Lord Hastings and the army at the close of the 
the war, Mr. Canning said that *' Mr. Elphinstone— a man 
distinguished in the literature as well as the politics of the 
East — exhibited on that trying occasion military courage 
and skill, which though valuable accessories to diplomiatic 
talents, we are not entitled to require as necessary qualifica- 
tions for civil employment." 

General Smith was now rapidly returning to Puna, and 
Elphinstone, as he wrote, fully expected that before his arrival 
the Peshwa would give them another field day. The Peshwa 
did not afford them that gratification, and on November ]3tb, 
three days after General Smith's return, the Peshwa fled 
to Siitara and his army evacuated Puna. The city was taken 
possession of, and the pursuit of the Maratha army commenced. 
Great exertions were made to come up with the Peshwa, but 
he continued his flight from place to place amongst the 
mountains of the Western Ghats ; and for some months he 
evaded pursuit. He sent his wife and much of his property 
to the fort of Raygahr. 

Meanwhile, a small force from Bombay under Colonel 
Prother was employed in reducing the Konkan ; and 


General Smith, afraid lest the Manitha army, driven by the 
English in that direction, should cut off Colonel Prother's 
detachment, sent reinforcements to him from Puna, and 
directed the 2nd detachment of the 1st regiment to strengthen 
Colonel Burr at Puna. This order led to the most vivid 
i^pisode of the campaign. On the last day of the year the 
battalion marched from Sirur at eight o'clock in the evening 
It consisted of 500 men, supported by two six-pounders, 
manned by twenty-four Europeans of the Madras Infantr3^ 
There were also 300 of the newly-raised irregular horse, the 
whole under the command of Captain Francis Staunton. They 
marched all night, and on the morning of the New Year's 
Day the detachment reached the village of Korygaum on 
the river Bhima, and found encamped before it the whole of 
the Peshwa's army of 25,000 horse and a large number of 
Arabs under Baji Rao in person. Captain Staunton took 
up his post in the village and placed his guns where they 
could do the greatest execution. The Marathas endeavoured 
to storm the English position, and they obtained possession 
of a strong square enclosure commanding the village from 
which they could not be dislodged. A terrible struggle 
was then waged. Captain Staunton's men had marched all 
night. They were cut off from the river ; they had neither 
food nor water. But in vain did the Marathas and the fiercer 
Arabs hurl themselves time after time upon the devoted band. 
Every foot of ground was disputed. Hardly any of the 
European officers were unwounded. The wounded men and 
officers were in agonies of thirst which could not be relieved. 
The surviving combatants were fainting and nearly frantic for 
want of water. Some of the gunners, all of whom fought 
heroically, proposed to sue for terms. But Captain Staunton 
pointed out to them the dead body of their officer 


Lieutenant Chisliolm, who had been shot, and whose head the 
enemy had then severed from his trunk. ** Such was the way,'' 
he told them, *^ in which all would be served who fell dead or 
?\live into the hands of the Marathas." They replied that 
they would die to a man, and the unequal conflict was continued 
all that terrible day. Towards sunset their plight seemed 
well nigh desperate, but their efforts were not slackened. As 
night fell the attack became less fierce. By nine o'clock the 
artillery fire ceased, and the village Avas evacuated by the 
Peshwa's troops. The men were able at last to alleviate 
their intense thirst. The next day the Peshwa's troops re- 
fused to fight, and gradually withdrew. Caj)tain Staunton had 
lost 175 men besides a portion of the auxiliary horse. The 
Mar/itha loss was between .''>U0 and <JuO men. A monument, 
erected upon the spot, tells the traveller of the fierce tight 
that was waged where he stands ; and Mar;ilha minstrels, be 
it told to their credit, sing of the glory of the defence. 

The Peshwa, as at Khirki, surveyed the battle from a 
distance. He had brought with him the Raja of S;itcira. 
his nominal master. A screen had been erected to ward off 
the rays of the sun. The Raja begged that it might be 
taken down, ** Otherwise the English would send a cannon- 
ball through it." Gokla and Trimbakji directed the Maratha 
attacks, and the Peshwa impatiently asked his commanders, 
** Where were their boasts of defeating the English if they 
could not overcome one battalion V^ 

The Governor-General shortly afterwards conferred on 
Captain Staunton the important command of Ahmadnagar, 
and repeated the observation of General Smith, that the action 
at Korygaum was *' One of the most brilliant affairs ever 
achieved by any army, in which the European and Native 
soldiers displayed the most noble devotion and most romantic 

258 HISTOID Y OF i:iK P.OMBAY PPvE>I3>EN'0 f . 

bravery, luuler the pressure of thirst aiul hunger ahnost be-^ 
yoiid huniau endurance/' And two years afterwards, in 
presenting to him a valuable sword voted by the Court of 
Directors, he said, '*In that hour of difficulty and danger, 
surrounded by implacable enemies, and cut off from all hope 
of succour, it was your firmness that afforded to your brave 
companions an opportunity of displaying that devotion and 
gallantry which terminated in their triumph over the vast 
forces opposed to them, and not only established for ever their 
own reputation, but threw a lustre over their own establish- 
ment^ and added to the glory of the Indian army.'' In the 
House of Commons Mr. Canning extolled the glory of the 
little band which had kept at bay the Peshwa's 25,000 hor^^r 
and masses of Arab infantry. 

The Marquis of Hastings resolved that the Peshwa should 
be the last of his line. To appoint a successor would be only 
to revive the old pretentions to Maratha confederation and 
supremacy, which experience had shown to be hicompatible 
with the very existence of the English as a power in the land. 
The dynasty was to be done away with, and the dominions 
annexed to the Company's possessions. But with con- 
summate statesmanship the Governor- General resolved to 
conciliate the Maratha nation by a graceful concession ; 
and the imprisoned Kaja of Satara, the descendant of 
Shiwiiji, was to be given the nominal sovereignty of the 
district of Sjitura, Mr. Elphinstone was wisely selected to 
carry out this policy and settle the annexed territory, and 
two divisions of the Deccan army under Generals Smith and 
Pritzler were withdrawn from Sir Thomas Hislop's control 
and placed at his disposal. Captain Grant Duff, the talented 
historian of the Marathas, was made resident at Satara, which 
was taken on February lOth, 1818, by General Smith with 


little difficulty. The British flag v/as hoisted on the fort ; 
but the day after replaced by the Bhagwa Jenda, or standard 
of Shiwaji. A manifesto was at the same time published by 
the Commissioner, setting forth the intentions of the British 
( rovernment and stating the reasons which had rendered their 
action inevitable. The document was admirably calculated 
to promote the end m view. *' There was to be no inter- 
ference," it said, *' with rehgion, gifts of Inam or rent-free 
land, or allowances from the state, provided that those con- 
cerned accepted the sovereignty of the Company." Farming 
of the revenue was to be abolished, and a moderate assessment 
collected by British officers. Thus the petty chiefs and laud- 
holders were confirmed in their possessions which became 
an invaluable security for their allegiance to the new regime. 
The campaign had, however, yet to be concluded. General 
8mith continued the pursuit of the Peshwa. General Pritzler 
attacked and took the hill-forts of Purandhar, Singhar and 
others south of Puna. General Thomas Munro, from Madras, 
captured the strong hill-fort of Badami in the district of 
i>ijapur, and then marched on Sholapur and took that fort 
after a short siege. In the Konkan, General Prother took 
fort after fort, including the stronghold of Raygahr the 
mighty fortress-capital of. Shiwaji. After a rapid march, in 
furious heat, through Indapur and Mfihar, he got his guns 
in position on an almost inaccessible mountain-ridge opposite 
Raygahr. The bombardment was opened with spirit. The 
firing was extremely accurate, and nearly every building in the 
fort was laid in ruins. At last a shell burst over the citadel 
and set fire to the houses ; and the Peshwa's wife induced the 
Arab commandant to surrender. Fifty thousand pounds 
sterling was found in the fort. The Peshwa's wife was escorted 
to Puna and subsequently to Wai. In the Ratnagiri district 


Colonel Kennedy, with a detachment titled out by Sir Evan 
Nepean, the Governor of Bombay, was occupying the country 
w4th equal success. All over the country fortress after fort- 
ress fell in a few weeks, most of which, with Shiwaji as a 
master, would have withstood the whole British army. 

General Smith, though unsuccessful in his pursuit of the 
Peshwa, managed to overtake a large part of his army at Ashta, 
and with hardly any loss put them to flight. At Ashta, Gokla, 
whose personal valour was undaunted, fell fighting bravely. 
lie had pledged himself to die sword in hand, and he kept his 
word. The Marathas were pursued for miles, and the engage- 
ment hastened the termination of the war. On this occasion 
General Smith, who was himself wounded, captured the Il:ija 
of Sat4ra and his family. They expressed unbounded joy at 
the rescue from their Brahman masters. They were placed 
in charge of Mr. Elphinstone, and the Peshwa continued his 
flight towards N^gpur. At Nagpur, Apa Sahib the regent 
had made a subsidiary treaty with the English. He promptly 
proceeded to break it. He murdered the boy on whose behalf 
he was ruling, plotted with the Peshwa, sent his family and 
treasure out of the city, and ordered his troops to attack 
Mr. Jenkins' small detachment of sej)oys. Owing to the 
lieroic courage of Captain Fitzgerald, who was in command 
of some Bengal horse, and the enthusiasm which he instilled 
into his men, the attack, although made l>y numbers that 
appeared overwhelming, was beaten off; and Maratha singers 
mingle with the fame of Korygaum the magnificent exploit of 
Sitabaldi, Apa Sahib disavowed any share in the attack, 
but refused to disband his troops. Another action was 
required; his guns were taken, and he surrendered uncondi- 
tionally. For the murder of his nephew he was sent a 
prisoner to Alldhubdd ; but he escaped on the road, and after 


nine years' misery in the Windhya mountains, found at 
length a refuge with the K^ija of Jodhpur, and was there left 
undisturbed. An infant grandson of Eaghoji was placed 
on the throne. Mr. Jenkins administered Banir during his 
minority, and Ndgpur ceased to be a cause of trouble. 

Ilolkar, too, had been effectually dealt with. Tulsi Bai, 
widow of Yeshwant Rao, was conducting the affairs of the 
State as regent for the young INIalhar I\ao, her husband's 
illegitimate son. Her turbulent soldiery were beyond her 
control. She was not herself anxious to join the Peshwa, 
and even made secret proposals to the Governor-General to 
place herself and the young prince imder his protection. 
But events were too strong for her ; and before the end of 
December 1817 she found herself with her army near 
Mehidpur on the Si])ri river. Here she attempted to nego- 
ciote with Sir John Malcolm and Sir Thomas Ilislop, 
whose united forces lay in her path. Incensed at this, her 
oHncers beheaded her and cast her body into the stream. A few 
days afterwards, on December 21st, the army of Ilolkar was 
utterly destroyed, and sixty-three guns captured with all the 
military stores and camp ecpiipage. But the British loss was 
778 in killed and wounded, of whom thirty-eight were 
Kuropcan officers. The submission of the young Holkar was 
tendered on the 6th of January, and the usual subsidiary treaty 
entered into. Sir John Malcolm remained as xAgent to the 
Governor-General for the Maratha States of Central India. 

Their supporters thus humbled to the dust, the Pindharis 
could offer no formidable resistance to the invincible British 
arms. They were struck with terror when they found 
Sindia compelled to abandon them. They could get no 
help from any of the Mariithas, and they were unable 
to protect themselves from I>ord Hastings' combinations. 


They strove desperately to avoid the retribution that was 
coming upon them, but their enemies enclosed them on every 
side. It was in vain that they fled to the North, for the 
Bengal army was ready for theui there ; they turned to the 
South only to lose all their baggnge and be worsted in con- 
tinual small encounters. They were completely dispersed, 
and most of them came to a miserable end in the jungle- — 
the peasantry showing no mercy after the infamous cruelties 
which they had formerly undergone at their hands. One of 
their leaders, Chetu, was hunted first through Guzarat and 
then through Mdlwa, and at last his body was found near 
Asirgahr half eaten by a tiger. Another, Wasil Muhammad, 
betook himself to Sindia, who surrendered him to the 
English ; and, thinking death preferable to captivity, he put 
an end to his life by poison. Another, named Karim, witli 
leniency altogether undeserved, received an estate in British 
territory. Amir Khan remained, and as he offered to surrender 
it was deemed expedient to accept his proposal. Sir David 
Ochterlony, with no little address and firmness, effected a 
settlement with his Pathan retainers and obtained their 
artillery without bloodshed. Pindhuri raids were a thing of 
the past. Those of these banditti who survived, mingled 
with the population, and many of them became decent and 
orderly citizens. 

There were still a few sieges before the campaign was con- 
cluded. Asirgahr was surrendered to Sir John Malcolm in 
April and garrisoned by British troops. In Talner, the 
former Pathan capital of Khandesh, there was a strong force 
of the Peshwa's Arabs. The commandant surrendered to J^ii- 
Thomas Hislop ; but when Major Gordon and Captain 
Macgregor entered the fort they were cut down and killed. 
The e.\asj)erated British troops rushed in; and, of a garri>(»i 


-of 300 men, one only escaped with his lite by leaping 
over the wall. The commandant was hanged — a fate that he 
richly deserved. At Malegaum in Khandesh, now in the 
subsequently formed district of Nasik, a contrary policy was 
adopted. The fort was strongly garrisoned by Arabs, who 
'Offered to surrender if they were guaranteed arrears of pay and 
n free passage to Arabia. The offer was accepted, ])ut the 
generosity was not unnaturally taken for weakness. The 
Arabs considered that tJiey had achieved a success over 
British troops, and mnch harm at Ilydarab/id and other 
places resulted fioin the occurrence. 

The war thus came to a triumphant issue. A brief cam- 
paign had sufficed to shatter a most formidable confederacy 
against the British Government. It was owing to the 
baneful policy of non-intervention that the confederacy had 
•cjver been allowed to raise its head. British power was now- 
stronger than ever. There was no longer a question of 
balance of power. There was to be one supreme authority in 
India before which all must bow. The Court of Directors 
denounced the extension of territory, but their words were not 
followed by action, and they recognised accomplished facts. 
But even the Directors apj)reciated the "promptitude and 
vigour with which Lord Hastings had dispersed the gather- 
ing elements of a hostile conspiracy." The verdict of pos- 
terity has justified the measures of the statesman, who by a 
strong hand delivered Central and Western India from the 
<:urse of anarchy, which could never cease while rival armies 
carried fire and sword throughout the land. It is to the 
Marquis of Hastings that the Bombay Presidency owes 
almost all its territor}-. 

The pursuit of the Peshwa was carried on with infinite 
perseverance. Ilujited from place to place it Avas in vain 


that he appHed to his late confederates for succour ; and he 
at last made overtures to Mr. Elphiustone and other officers, 
but he ^vas told that the only terms that could be accepted 
were unconditional surrender. He turned his course north- 
wards, intending to cross the Narbada ; but the fords and 
passes were guarded, and he was forced to remain with the 
8,000 men who were left to him near Asirgahr in a state of 
utter despair. Hence he despatched an agent to Sir John 
Malcolm at Man. Sir John IMalcolm was fully cognizant of 
Lord Hastings' instructions to Elphinstone — that no condi- 
tions were to be made with Baji Rao. His arrest was only a 
question of time. But Sir John Malcolm, regardless alike 
of the Governor-GeneraVs instructions and the ill-eff'ect 
Avhich the deputation could not but have on military opera- 
tions, sent two officers to treat Avith him. His terms were 
that Biiji Rao should resign his sovereignty and give up 
Trimbakji and the murderers of the Yaughans. This much 
being promised, Baji Rao was to separate himself from the 
remnant of his followers and advance to meet Sir John 
Malcolm, who undertook to obtain for him from the British 
Government an ample allowance in any holy city that lie 
might select. Before formally surrendering himself, he 
had an interview with Sir John Malcolm, and with his usual 
adroitness and eloquence appealed to him as the last of his 
three earliest and best friends. Malcolm sank the politician 
in the man. He remembered the regal splendour in which 
B-iji Rao had lived ; and when he saw him now as a 
hopeless and weary fugitive, he forgot that the Peshwa had 
rushed upon his fate with his eyes open and that Malcolm 
himself had been made one of his tools. So when Baji Rao 
promised to give himself up if he should receive an allow- 
ance of j£80,000 a vear, Sir John Malcolm 2:ave his n^--- f 


The Governor-General was justly indignant at this contempt 
of orders. But he could not go back from the word of a 
British officer; and the Peshwa went to reside at Bithju-, 
near Cawnpore, with his stipulated income. The result wa?^ 
disastrous. The largeness of the sum hindered to some 
extent the liberality that the British Government wished to 
show in its new territories ; and while the agreement ob- 
tained favourable terms for many of B:iji Rao's people that 
deserved condign punishment, it also created a spurious and 
dangerous importance for the dethroned potentate in the 
eyes of the Marathas. The full danger of the step was to 
manifest itself nearly forty years later in the infamous Nana 
S:ihib of Cawnpore. The surrender of Trimbakji was evaded, 
but he was finally captured and confined in the fort of 
Chunar till his death. 

In the month of April, Prat;ip Sing, the B;ija of Sat:ira — a 
>vell- meaning, but weak and vain prince — in his 27th year, was 
seated on his throne with great jjomp by the Commissioner. 
He issued two proclamations, announcing his connection with 
the British Government, and putting the entire administration 
of his kingdom into the hands of Mr. Elphinstone. He 
dwelt on the injuries that he had received from the Peshwa, 
and produced an order signed by Btiji Hao to put the Raja 
and his family to death sooner than let them fall into the 
hands of the English. But circumstances showed that, 
though the experiment of restoring the Satara royal family 
Avas a wise temporary expedient, it was useless as a permanent 
measure. The only gratitude shown by the Raja was 
treachery and plots against the hand that raised him from 
the dust. 

The military operations were no sooner completed than 
the work of civil administration was taken in hand. Under 


Mr. Elpliinstone's supervision, Puna was managed by Captain 
Robertson; Kh:indesh by Captain Briggs; the central part 
of the Deccan by Captain Pottinger, and the south by 
Mr. Chaplain, a Madras civilian. Native officers from the 
Peshvva's service became their assistants on liberal salaries, 
and the whole populatioii submitted promptly to the new 
order of things. So readily did the troops transfer their 
allegiance to the conquerors, that in many instances soldiers who 
had been fighting for Baji Rao were within twenty-four hours 
bearing arms on behalf of the new Government. The first 
business of the Commissioners was to see that the revenues 
were duly collected and handed over to the British authorities ; 
to protect and conciliate the people ; to show them that no 
iimovation was intended, but thnt a proper administration of 
the existing law would be insisted on. It was of the utmost 
importance to gain the confidence and not to excite the alarm 
of the natives, and the wise experience of Mr. Elphinstone 
effectively secured this result. The ^Marathas were not dis- 
armed, but armed parties were not allowed to travel without 
passports ; and after the first year this precaution was dropped 
i^xcept in the case of bodies of over twenty-five armed men. 
Military stations were established at Puna^ Sirur, Junnar, 
Ahmadnagar, Sholnpur, Malegaum,S;itara, Karar and Kaladgi. 
The wild Bhils of Khandesh for a long time could not ])e 
reduced to tranquillity, and the steps taken to deal with thciii 
will be related further on. One conspiracy only was detected, 
at Puna, for the murder of all Europeans of that place and 
of Sdtara, and the seizure of the Raja by some Brahmansand 
men of desperate fortunes. The Brahman ringleaders were 
blown from guns, an example which had a permanent effect 
n})on that intriguing race. Sir Evan Nepean, the Governor 
i>f Bombay, approved of Elphinstone's action ; but wlien lie 


suggested an application for indenniity, Elphinstone replied 
that if he liad done wrong he ought to he punished, if right 
there was no need of an indemnity. 

The Raja of Kolhapur had espoused the British cause, and 
he was rewarded hy the gift of the districts of Chikur and 
Manawli, which he had long coveted. Every promise made 
as to the continuance of pensions, allowances, and free-rent 
hinds was strictly ohserved. The Pant Sachiw had joined 
the British cause after the proclamation of Satara, and he 
was confirmed in the possession of his territories in the wild 
mountains ahove the Bhor Ghat where Shiwaji's power had 
arisen. Other such chiefs were the Pant Pratinidhi and the 
Raja of Akalkot near Shobipur. For the decision of civil suits 
Elphinstone continued the system of panchayats. In the 
neighbourhood of Satdra criminal cases were settled in the 
^ame way; but in most of the new territories individual judges 
were continued or introduced for this class of work. But 
Elphinstone knew that the peo])le were not prepared for the 
elaboration of English law. He gave them its justice without 
its intricate regulations. By preserving the influence of 
village officers, he gave the millions under his rule that 
immenseblessing— a simple, cheap, and speedy administration 
of justice. His plan could be hardly more than a temporary 
one. The English love of order down to the minutest details 
<'oidd not fail to prevent its being so. But perhaps, with the 
perfection of the machinery, the element of its adaptability to 
the conditions of life of a primitive people has to some extent 
been lost sight of. So liberal was the settlement of the con- 
quered territory that there was little if any saving to the 
British Government from the Peshwa's revenue ; but in a few 
years, owing to the tranquility and safety of the country, 
fortunate seasons, and the improvements in agriculture, the 


revenues largely increased. On the 1st of November lol9 
Mr. Elphinstone handed over his commissionership to Mr. 
Chaplain for the higher sphere of Governor of Bombay. He 
had endeared himself to the inhabitants of Mah/urishtra, who 
reverence his name to this day. He respected not only the 
privileges of the people, but even their prejudices, as long as 
they were not iniquitous or unjust. To Lord Hastings he 
wrote : — *'It is to be remembered that even just government 
is not a blessing if at variance with the habits and character 
of the people." 

Three years later saw the retirement of Lord Hastings. In 
spite of his costly wars, his budget had always shown a 
large surplus. He had followed the footsteps of Lord 
Cornwallis in purifying the lives and habits of English officers 
both civil and military. He had devoted himself to the 
well-being of the natives of India. He set up schools, which 
were thronged with children, and spared no steps to spread 
education and knowledge. He allowed the missionaries of 
Serampur, near Calcutta, to issue a newspaper, which formed 
the foundation of the present Native press. Could he have 
foreseen the existence of newspapers over the length and 
breadth of the land, steeped in treason and execrating every- 
thing that the Government does, he might have hesitated to 
confer this gift. 

The Bombay Presidency had now assumed its present 
form, with the exception of Sind, Satara, Angria's territory 
of Kolaba, and Kunara, which latter belonged to Madras. 

( 269 ) 


ALIKE as Commissioner of the Deccan and Governor of 
jfjL Bombay, Moiintstuart Elphinstone's ^vhole heart was 
in the work of restoring order to the new provinces. Tran- 
quilHty could not be attained in a day, and there were from 
time to time disturbances from isolated bands of Pindluiris 
and other marauders. But no native power dared to draw 
sword against the English. The task that Elphinstone had 
before him was in truth no light one. He had to spread 
civilization over a land desolated by anarchy, to afford se- 
curity to life and property, to usher in a reign of law where 
law was almost unknown. Sir James ^Macintosh, who was 
llecorder or Chief Justice of Bombay from 1804 to 1812, 
nnd who made an extended tour in the Deccan, stated it to be 
his *' firm conviction tliat the first blessing to be wished to 
the inhabitants of India was that a civilized conqueror might 
rescue them from their native oppressors, and that they 
would find better masters in the worst Europeans than in 
the best of their own countrymen." The Peshwas had done 
nothing to commemorate their existence. The architecture of 
the Deccan, that of the fortresses that crowned the heights 
of Mj4hdrashtra, was of an earlier age. The splendour of 
Bijapur and the beauties of Ahmadabad raised in the 
Marathas no desire to reproduce them. Puna, on the down- 
fall of the Peshwas, did not possess a building worthy of the 
name. To evade the Pindharis the houses of well-to-do land- 
holders were built so as to resemble on the side from which 


they were approached the huts of the poorest peasant ; and 
the ryot as he ploughed his field carried his njatchlock on 
his shoulder. Land fetched higher rent in out-of-the-^va^ 
glens than anywhere near the tracks that were used for 
roads. As for the common people, Shiwiiji contemptuously 
observed that if they had a dhotar (a waist-cloth) it was all 
that was needed. 

Force might bring peace for the time. Mr. Elphin&tone 
had wider views for the creation of a more far-reaching and 
lasting reform. He deemed it not impossible to raise the 
natives by education and public trust to a level with their 
new rulers. Striving to build up a desire for knowledge, he 
felt it wisest to hegiji with the highest classes. To any 
mingling of religion, even in the slightest degree, with his 
plans for education, he absolutely and entirely objected. *' To 
introduce Christianity into their schools would be to sound 
the alarm, and to warn the Brahmans of the approaching 
danger .... the danger would involve not only failure 
of our plans of education, but the dissolution of our empire.'' 
Missionaries found the lowest castes the best pupils. 
lOIphinstone was careful of offering special encouragement 
to those castes who were not only the most des])iscd but the 
least numerous of the divisions of society. To identify 
education with them would be to make it odious to those 
who were more fit for it. The soundness of his views are 
manifested in the result of the labours of missionaries, who 
are content to take into their fold the lowest of the low 
ill the vain hope that Christianity may spread upwards. 
Education cannot be expected to flourish without encourage- 
ment, and Mr. Elphinstone wished to introduce natives to 
offices of high rank and trust. But he held at the same 
time, that very strict supervision was reqilisite, and that 


many Europeans were necessary for that purpose. The same 
spirit of prudence led him to record his emphatic condem- 
nation of the introduction of a free press in a country -.vhere 
freedom has ever heen synonymous with license. 

The way was thus paved for a system of legislative and judi- 
cial reforms. Deprecating a large number of acts, he drew up 
a code of regulations at once simjde and comprehensive, and 
framed to bring matters to a speedy issue. The language of the 
court was made the language of the district, the evidence of 
witnesses taken in their own vernacular. Under the Peshwas 
there was no prescribed form of trial. A rebel would be 
executed at once on the ground of notoriety; any Bhil found 
in a neighbourhood where Bhils had been plundering would 
be immediately hanged. In doubtful cases, the prisoner was 
flogged to make him confe'tS. No particular punishment was 
laid down for particular offences. ^Vhere one officer would 
flog, another would hang, and a third fine. Punishment 
varied rather with the caste of the prisoner than with the 
nature of his offence. Mutdation was commonly inflicted. 
The Hindu law-officer of Ahmadnagar sentenced one man to 
be thrown from a height upon a spike, and another to be 
fined a nominal sura for tiie same offence; because in one 
case the stolen j)roperty had been accidentally recovered, and 
in the other it had not. The police often shared in the 
profits of the thieves. Considering this miserable parody of 
law and justice, and the moral character of the people, whose 
ranks from the highest to the lowest were pervaded with 
falsehood, the wonder is not that crime was so great but 
that it was not infinitely greater. 

That European officers should settle every petty dispute 
and detail of revenue was impracticable. While the status 
of the village pdtil was carefully preserved, equal pains were 


taken to place on an honourable foundation the position of the 
Mamlatdar, or subordinate native magistrate and revenue 
officer, who had charge of a tdluka or petty division of a 

During his tenure of otiice as Governor of Bombay, 
Elphinstone twice made a tour through every district in the 
Presidency. He saw everything for himself, and wrote copious 
minutes on the condition of each part of the country. These 
tours were the pleasantest parts of his governorship. He 
thoroughly enjoyed the bustle and change of camp life. A 
iirst-rate horseman, he was an ardent pursuer of the sport of 
pig-sticking or hog-hunting ; and when he was in camp, and 
heard of any boars being in the neighbourhood, he would 
j)roclaim a holiday and devote one or two days to the 

Of all the districts in the Presidency, that which most 
needed regeneration was Khdndesh. An extensive plain, 
watered by the T«apti and surrounded by broad chains of 
mountains, covered with noxious vegetation, where none but 
forest tribes can live — Khandesh is rather a province than a 
district. In area it is to other districts what Yorkshire is to 
the ordinary counties of England. Its forests are peopled 
by Bhils, who used to gather together in their inaccessible 
jungles and burst upon their prey in the plains. Under 
its Muhammadan rulers the province had been a rich and 
flourishing garden ; under the Mardthas it steadily declined. 
In 1802 it was ravaged by Holkar's army. A famine 
followed, and its ruin was completed by the rapacity 
and misgovcrnment of the Peshwa's officials. Bhils, Arabs 
and Pindharis alike robbed and murdered the peaceful iidia- 
bitants of the country. On the occupation of the province 
in 1813, anarchy and oppression had reached a fearful 

MtjL > i^ U--- h . ) IJIl) \^) UNK. 

height. Fifty Bhil leaders commanded bands numbering 
upwards of 5,000 followers, whose subsistence depended 
upon the fruits of pillage and plunder. The former Native 
Government had systematically violated its pledges to forest 
tiibes, and they were more than ever suspicious of the foreign 
<'onquerors. The Arabs and Pindharis were rapidly su}>- 
|)ressed ; the Bhils were longer a source of trouble, ^[any 
of them were the most uncivihzed of all aboriginal tribes. 
AVith forms stunted by the deadly climate, they had barely 
sufficient intellect to comprehend anything beyond the most 
simple communication. Slaves alike to superstition and 
<lrunkenness, they held it degrading to cultivate or labour for 
Avages ; no employment was tolerated which interfered witli 
iheir carrying the long bow and sheaf of arrows. Under the 
Muhammadans, Bhils had to some extent been employed a^ 
village watchmen. That system had been broken up. and 
no ])o]ice of any kind existed. In the single tjiluka of 
Nandurbar there were, in one month, a hundred cases of 
murder and robbery. 

For several years Colonel Briggs, the political agent, 
Mttempted to restore order by a combination of coercive and 
<-3aciliatory measures. The policy failed ; and it was not till 
])aaishment, imprisonment, and cognate devices were put aside 
for ever, and a new system introduced, which gently and 
kindly persuaded the forest tribes to enter upon a civilized 
life, that peace was restored to the province. Officers were 
selected with the title of Bhil Agents, who were to 
<mdeavour to inspire these wikl men with confidence in the 
Government, redress all grievances, and in every way ameliorate 
their condition. Lands were allotted rent-free for those wh(> 
could be induced to settle on them ; and advances of money 
made for the purchase of seed and cattle, as well as for 


clothes and food, until tl.ey could support theniselves. 'J hey 
were still, however, to be restrained — by persuasion if possible; 
if not, by force — from assembling in masses. The bold idea 
was conceived of forming these predatory tribes into an irre- 
gular corps ; and Captain, afterwards Sir James Oatram, was the 
main instrument of carrying oat this policy. He delighted 
the Bhils by joining them fearlessly in the chase in their own 
wild forests; he entrusted his life to their keeping, and by 
his hearty sympathy with them, won their confidence first in 
himself, and then in the Government which he represented. 
He contrived to raise from their number a body-guard of nine 
men, and with these marched round the province recruiting 
more. In a few months he had a corps of sixty men armed 
with bows and arrows ; and subsequently they were all armed 
and dressed like the Sepoy regiments of the Company. The 
work progressed beyond expectation. But one of those 
strange rumours, so common in India, took possession of them. 
They believed that the Government had formed them into a 
corps only with the sinister object of linking them in a line, 
and at one stroke extirpating their race; and their blood was 
said to be in high demand as medicine in the country of their 
English conquerors. But time ai.d illimitable patience over- 
came this and other ditficulties ; and, though inveterate habits 
were not changed in a day, by 1826 three hundred ploughs 
had been established, and the Bhil corps numbered 300 men. 
A year later it reached twice that number, and a small border 
disturbance showed that the members of this corps were ready 
to shed their blood at the bidding of their new masters. In 
course of time the Bhils were not only able to take the post of 
village watchmen, but they guarded the Government treasuries 
and jails ; and the regiments of the line were entirely removed 
from Kh:indesh. This wise and liberal policy subjected Govern- 


rneni to a considerable outlay and some loss b}' the non- 
payment of advances made to Bhils. But very many more 
re]»ayments have been etJected than might have been antici- 
pated, and The same system is still in force. The refor- 
mation of this tribe, which no amount of force could subdue, 
is too inestimable a blessing to be weighed in the scale with 
pec-uniary sacrifice. If British rule had nothing better to 
show for it than the suppression of the Bhil banditti of 
Khdndesh, and the Angria pirates of the western coast, it 
Miiuld not have existed in vain. 

Lord Hastings was succeeded after a short interregnum by 
Lord Amherst in August 1823. Though Bombay was in u 
state of profound peace, the clang of arms soon resormded 
in other parts of India ; and the echoes, rolling to the \yest, 
at one time kindled a vein of sympathy that showed a 
strong hand as well as a just administration to be absolutely 
indispensable. The catastrophe that had overwhelmed the 
Pindhtiri and the Maratha confederacy had taken the light 
out of the life of thousands and thousands who preferred 
plunder to industry, and who would have welcomed a return 
of the anarchy which would follow a reverse to the British 
arms. Such a reverse they hoped might come from the 
tirst Burmese war. The expedition was unpopular with the 
Sepoys of whom three regiments mutinied : and one, the 47th, 
was struck off the list of the Company's army. Both to* 
tliem, and to the natives of India who watched their course, 
the thought of the power of Burmese magic bore with it a- 
strange terror. The expedition was checked by heavy rains ;. 
but the popular belief went abroad that the English were 
powerless before the Burmese witches, whose incantations 
prevented them from raising their feet from the ground. 
A strange crisis of feeling spread over a great portion 


of India, and it came to a head at Bhartpur. This fortre*>s 
had been tiercely assailed, but never taken, by the Enghsh 
under General Lake. The ramparts of the Hindu 
stronghold still rose proudly, and presented an emblem of 
final victory for the inhabitants of the land. The boy Raja 
of Bhartpur had been recognised by the British Government : 
and when a usurper ])ut him aside and seized the throne. 
Sir David Ochterlou}-, the resident at Delhi, issued orders for 
the immediate attack of the fort. Lord Amherst, with a 
strange infatuity, countermanded the order ; and the indig- 
nity broke the heart of the gallant soldier, who with a hand- 
ful of men had defended Delhi against the overwhelming 
hosts of Holkar after Monson's fatal retreat. As a matter 
of course, the natives believed that the order resulted from 
fear. The whole country was in a ferment. Twenty-five 
thousand men engaged themselves " to fight the Company 
behind the walls wbich had defied Lord Lake, the conqueror 
of Hindustan." There was abundant evidence that Sindia, 
Holkar, and all the other chiefs were prepared to support the 
rising if it should meet with any success. Ochterlony w as 
right, and Lord Amherst had been wrong. But he rapidly 
grasped the emergency of the crisis ; and prepared to scatter 
the delusion which might carry a fire-brand through the 
peninsula. With stupendous efforts, and a loss of 1,000 men, 
the fort was taken and its walls razed to the ground. 

After the pacification of the Bhils, the only disturbance of 
any importance which troubled Bombay was an insurrection 
of the Ramoshis, another aboriginal tribe, in the district of 
Puna, under L^maji Naik in 1826-27. The Ramoshis were 
so enterprising and successful that force could not put them 
down, and the method which had been so successful with the 
Bhils was applied on a smaller scale to the Puna tribes. An 


amnesty was granted to all concerned except Umaji, and 
many were given grants of land and employed as hill-police. 
I'maji escaped for a time, bnt was apprehended at Pandhar- 
pnr and paid the penalty for his crimes. 

With two foreign countries the Government of Elphinstone 
had some dealing. Sind still ranked in that category, and onr 
relations with it were of slender importance. But the frontier 
was unsettled, and marauders encroached upon British terri- 
tory. Steps were taken in return to restrain the subjects of 
the Amirs who ruled in Sind, but for the time the difference 
was amicably settled. With Persia matters were more serious. 
The Persian Gulf was infested with pirates, and these had 
to be put down. A British force, moving inland to capture 
a pirate stronghold, fell into an ambuscade and was cut to 
pieces. Another expedition was immediately despatched 
which avenged the fate of the first and effectually secured 
its object. 

On the llth of November 182 7, Mountstuart Elphinstone 
sailed from Bombay, after an unbroken service in India of 
over thirty years. No name is so identified as his with the 
building up of the Bombay Presidency. Of his Govern- 
ment he was able to write, "It has repelled predatory in- 
vasion, restrained intestine disorder, administered equal and 
impartial justice, and has almost extirpated every branch of 
exaction and oppression." Writing at Bombay in 1825, 
Bishop Heber said : — " On this side of India there is really 
more zeal and liberality displayed in the improvement of the 
country, the construction of roads and public buildings, the 
conciliation of the natives and their education than I have 
seen in Bengal. . . . His policy, so far as India is 
concerned, appears to me peculiarly wise and liberal ; and he is 
evidently attached to and thinks well of the countrv and 

278 liifiiOHV or the bombay r residency. 

its inhabitants. I] is public ineasurcs, in their general 
tendency, evince a steady wisli to improye their present 
condition. No Government in India pays so much atten- 
tion to schools and public institutions for education, lu 
none are the taxes lighter ; and in the administration of justice 
to the natives in their own languages, in the establishment 
of panchayats, in the degree in which he employs the natives 
in official situations, and the countenance and familiarity he 
extends to all the natives of rank who approach him, he 
seems to have reduced to practice almost all the reforms 
which had struck me as most required in the system ol" 
Government pursued in those provinces of our Eastern 
empire which I had previously visited.*' He so distinguished 
himself in his career that he was twice offered the post of 
Governor- General ; but he felt that his work was done, and 
that his strength was unequal to the task. Nor could he be 
prevailed on to accept the peerage Avhich was offered to hhn. 
A statue was raised to him in the Town Hall of Bombay, and 
the Elphin stone College and Elphinstone High School form 
an eloquent tribute to his name. His views on Indian polities 
showed a singular foresight. He held that if our Indian 
empire was to die a violent death, the seeds of its ruin would 
be found within the native army — a delicate and dangerous 
machine which a little mismanagement might easily turn against 
us. *'The most desirable death it should die would be," he 
said, '' the improvement of the natives reaching such a pitch 
as would render it impossible for a foreign nation to retain 
the government ;" but this he acknowledged seemed at an 
immeasurable distance. He urged always a timely con- 
sciousness of danger. And apart from the army, he wr«ae 
words of emphatic warning against another danger of \«t 
more tremendous import. *' I have left out of the account 


the clanger to which we should be exposed by any attempt 
to interfere with the religious prejudices of the natives. 
Our strength consists in the want of energy and the disunion 
of our enemies. There is but one talisman that, while it 
animated and united them all, would leave us without a 
single adherent — this talisman is the name of religion, a 
power so odious that it is astonishing our enemies have not 
more frequently and systematically employed it against us.'' 
He did not fear any direct attempt of Government to convert 
the natives : what he dreaded was the suspicion arising 
from ordinary and indifferent actions that it was disposed to 
•encourage such an object. Prophetic words, that alas ! were 
but too truly realised ! The consciousness of danger was 
ignored, the army by mismanagement turned against us in the 
name of religion, and well-nigh the whole work of a century 
of conquest had to be done over again after the tempest 
of 1857^. 

Notwithstanding his conviction of the mighty foundations 
•upon which the British empire in India rested, Elphinstonc 
did not regard as an axiom its absolute permanency. In his 
earlier days he spoke of it as ephemeral, but his opinion con- 
siderably altered as he grew older. When he heard of the 
mutiny of the sepoys ordered to Burma, he wrote — ** I used 
to think our empire made of glass : but when one considers 
the ro\igh usage it has stood, both in old times and recent, 
one is apt to think it is made of iron, I believe it is of 
steel, which cuts everything if you keep its edge even ; but it 
is very apt to snap short if it falls into unskilful hands." 

He deprecated entirely all extension of territories beyond 
India ; and from a man who had conducted an embassy to 
Kabul, and made that country his study, his words are of the 
oitmost weight. As to the native princes of India, " You may 


leave them to tlieir natural fate. Every Indian Govern- 
nient expires after a sjliort existence. When there are no 
Europeans at hand, the country passes from the Ghuzncvies- 
to the Ghoories, from the AfFghans to the Moguls, from the 
Moguls to the Mahrattas. "When there is a stable Govern- 
ment, such as Europeans alone can found, it must necessarily 
.swallow up all the ephemeral governments around it/* 

His writings, though not brilliant in narrative, give lively 
and realistic pictures of Indian scenes. Of a Maratha army 
he writes: — "Camp presents to a European the idea of long 
lines of white tents in the trimmest order. To a Mahratta 
it presents an assemblage of every sort of covering, of every 
shape and colonr, spreading for miles in all directions, over 
hill and dale, mixed up with tents, flags, trees and buildings.. 
In Jones' ' History' march means one or more columns of 
troops and ordnance moving along roads, perhaps betweeit 
two hedges ; in the Mahratta history, horse, foot, and 
dragoons inundating the face of the earth for many miles on 
every sidcj here and there a few horse with a flag and a drum, 
mixed with a loose and struggling mass of camels, elephants,, 
bullocks, nautch-girls, fakeers and buffoons : troops and 
followers, lancemen and matchlock men, banyans and moota- 

Mountstuart Elphinstone lived till 1850, in a pleasant and 
genial old age, mixing with old friends, and what were 
scarcely less than friends, his books. He had long since 
written a history of the Hindu and Muhammadan periods 
of Indian history. He continued this after his retirement U> 
the period of English rule, but this part of his work was never 

( '2H 


IT was a bitter blow to Sir John Malcolm when Elphin- 
stone and not himself was appointed Governor of 
Bombay in 1819. When Elphinstone retired in 1827, Mal- 
colm, who was then fifty -three years of age, accepted the 
oflice in the vain hope that it might serve as a stepping-stone 
to the Governor-Generalship of India. But he lived ta 
regret that he had undertaken duties which the force of cir- 
cumstances rendered entirely uncongenial to him. 

On July 4th 1827, there arrived at Calcutta, as successor 
to Lord Amherst, Lord William Bent hick. The eloquent 
inscription on his statue at Calcutta, by Lord Macaulay, 
has been read by thousands. ''This statue," it runs, '* is- 
erected to William Cavendish r>entinck, who, during seven 
years, ruled India with eminent prudence, integrity and 
benevolence ; who, placed at the head of a great empire, 
never laid aside the simplicity and moderation of a private 
citizen ; who infused into Oriental despotism the spirit of 
British freedom ; who never forgot that the end of Govern- 
ment is the welfare of the governed ; who abolished cruel 
rites; who effaced humiliating distinctions; who allowed 
liberty to the expression of public opinion ; whose constant 
study it was to elevate the moral and intellectual character of 
the Government committed to his charge ; — this monument 
was erected by men who, differing from one another in race, 
in manners, and in religion, cherish with equal veneration and 
gratitude the memory of his wise, upright, and paternal 


Twenty-one years previously he had been roughly recalled 
from the Government of Madras. If he was harshly dealt 
with then, his reputation as Governor-General has been on 
the other hand altogether over-estimated, and the eloquencr 
of Maeaulay is singularly misleading. Of Lord WilliaTu 
J5entinck's integrity and benevolence there can be no doubt 
whatever. Of his prudence there are the gravest doubts, un- 
less it be said that his folly in returning to the policy of 
non-intervention is removed beyond the regions of all doubt 
whatsoever. In no land can outward show and the trappings 
of office be less profitably laid aside than in India ; and in 
scrupulously observing the simplicity of a private citizen he 
fleprived his great office of a dignity which rightly belonged 
to it. To infuse into Oriental despotism the spirit of Britisii 
freedom is a task absolutely impossible. Lord William 
Bentinck did what other Governors-General had don." 
before him, he rooted up the one to make way for the other. 
Two sentences of the inscription set forth with absolute truth 
the real glory of his administration. The end of his Govern- 
uient was the welfare of the governed, and he abolished cruel 
rites. But it cannot he admitted that in the first of thest* 
two works his predecessors had not already done much, 
though it was left to him to do vastly more. In the abolition 
of cruel rites he stood alone. The eflfacement of humiliatinir 
distinctions refers to his action in the creation of native 
judges, with primary jurisdiction over civil suits, to whose 
authority Europeans were subjected. The act excited the 
most vehement controversy. The fact was that it effaced no 
•liumiliating distinction whatever: and its sole effect wri^ 
-gratuitously and needlessly to humiliate Europeans in the eyes 
•of themselves and of natives. It was a small thing that the 
-<• jnquering race, while subject tn tlio -anic law as their con- 


quered fellow subjects, should have the privilege of being 
tried by judges of their own race. It was a privilege that 
not a native in the land would dream of objecting to ; his 
feeling on the subject being limited to surprise that the 
conqueror should apply to himself the same rigid justice that 
he enforced upon others. In his efforts to elevate the moral 
character of the Government — without depreciating what he 
did —it is due to at least two of his predecessors, Lord Corn- 
wallis and Lord Hastings, to say that they made no feebler 
efforts in the same direction at a time when their efforts were 
of immeasurably greater ditiiculty. 

Lord Amherst's wars had been excessively costly, and Lord 
WilHam Bentinck had to effect retrenchments. Reforms of 
this nature are never pleasant. But the measures adopted 
were in the highest degree objectionable both to natives and 
European?. Both were alike dealt with in a spirit of harshness 
nnd unreasonableness to produce results utterly inadequate 
to the discontent that was caused. Europeans cannot be 
expected to pass their lives in the banishment of India without 
a remuneration that in some degree makes up for the 
privations inseparable from the country and its climate. 
What are luxuries in England are necessities in India ; large 
establishments have to be kept up, constant transfers entail a 
corresponding expenditure, wives have to be sent home for 
their health, children for their education. Some Indian 
officials can save money ; many more can, with the exercise 
of care, live in reasonable comfort on their pay; not a few end 
their career in the bonds of debt. Very few^ can be called 
rich. The expenses of all are heavy. Several times before 
attempts to cut down their allowances had been met with by 
action that amounted to mutiny. Knowing all this, in ordei* 
to save the trivial sum of t^vo lakhs (^20,000) a year for all 


India, pay and allowances were cut down in every direction.. 
The measure was met with intense disgust and wide-spread 
resistance. The retrenchment could not he enforced ; and it 
ended in a miserable compromise, by which stations within 
400 miles of Calcutta only suffered while those beyond it 
were exempted. 

While this injudicious course had been adopted with 
Europeans, natives were incensed by new orders as to 
rent-free land. The alienations of land under native 
governments had been large ; and on the country coming 
into English hands a certain amount had been sanctioned 
hurriedly without due inquiry or the ratification of higher 
authority. Undoubtedly injustice had thus been done to 
the state. The fiat now went forth that all such settlements 
Avere to be revised, and those persons only would be confirmed 
in the possession of rent-free lands who could establish their 
rightful claims. Under Eastern Governments an undoubted 
title to land is often incapable of documentary or even legal 
proof. But the order was insisted upon ; wide-spread dis- 
content was caused, and some substantial injustice done to 
save the state .£:300,000 a year. 

The carrying out of these two measures brought vexation to 
the soul of Sir John Malcolm at Bombay. A man who had 
all his life been of the most social disposition, who loved 
gaiety and revelry, found himself in his declining years looked 
uj)on as an enemy by every European; and the retrenchments 
came with an ill grace from an officer who had needlessly laid 
on the country the burden of paying j680,000 a year to 
Baji Ilao. On other subjects of legal interest he found him- 
self at variance with the judges of the Supreme Court, 
especially with Sir John Peter Grant, afterwards Lieutenant- 
Governor of Bengal, who tried to pusli the power of the 


Court so far as to bring the Executive Goverument into con- 
tempt. Malcolm accordingly bitterly condemned himself 
for having accepted the Bombay Governorship. But though 
he had no great opportunity of displaying his capacity for 
Government, and circumstances prevented his being popular, 
yet in an unpretending way he did much good ; and his name 
in Malcolm Peth, the settlement on the range of iNIahablesh- 
war, must always be remembered with gratitude by Europeans 
who breathe the pure air of the hills. 

In other respects the internal administration of Lord 
AVilliam Bentinck was upright and fearless. The rite of 
Sati, by which the widows of high-caste Hindus burnt them- 
selves on their husband's funeral pyres, was an abomination 
to him. In vain did his councillors tell him that to abolish 
the rite would be dangerous in the extreme. The thing was 
shameful, and it must go. What previous Governors-General 
had feared to do was done. Those implicated in Sati were 
deemed to commit murder; those present were held to abet 
the act. The law was at once put into force ; and all honour 
is due to the courage of Lord William Bentinck. He did not 
know that the verse in the **Big Wed/' which the Brahmans 
used as an authority for the infamous custom, was garbled ; 
and that the real meaning of the text was deliberately mis- 
interpreted by the unscrupulous priesthood to sustain their 
own importance. But to the Governor-General the genuine- 
ness or falsehood of the authority for such an iniquity would 
have mattered little. The success of this reform enabled 
the Court of Directors a few years later after his retire- 
ment to take a further step which might have offended 
orthodox Hinduism. Scrupulously avoiding all appearance 
of religious persecution, the Company had erred in the other 
^extreme; and their troops had been paraded, and offerings 


■made to idols, at great festivals. This bowing down in the 
house of Rimmon was not only useless but pernicious. It 
was put an end to once for all in 1840, under the rule of 
Lord Auckland ; but it was Lord William Bentinck's action 
that paved the way for its abolition. 

Sati was done away with in 1829. The following year 
brought a deliverance from another curse of a very different 
nature. Over the whole of Lidia there existed a mighty 
secret society which, like the Pindharis, embraced Hindus and 
Mussalmans alike. Taking their name from the verb thagna, 
to cheat, the Thags banded themselves together in the name of 
the goddess Bhawani to reduce murder and robbery to a system, 
^uch was their skill that though the association had existed 
from time immemorial the English had scarcely any know- 
ledge of its existence before the year 1810. But their sus- 
picions were aroused by the disappearance of a large number 
of Sepoys on furlough. Inquiries were being made in various 
((uarters; and it may have been the consciousness that the 
English were on his track that induced the leader of one of 
their bands to give himself up in 1821) to Major Sleeman, 
the deputy-commissioner of Saugar in the Central Provinces. 
A strange and terrible tale was unfolded. As the merchant 
or banker journeyed from one city to another to sell his 
wares or negociate his bills, or as the soldier proceeded to his 
native village to enjoy his hardly-earned furlough, they met 
Avith other travellers going on similar errands, whose com- 
pany was gratefully welcomed both for companionship on the 
journey and for protection on dangerous routes. Charmed 
with their fascinating manners the travellers journeyed on, 
delighted with the friends that chance had thrown in their 
way. But as they sat eating their meal in the shade of the 
way-side trees by the refreshing stream, the handkerchief of 

POLICY OF SELi-KFFAOi-.MLN ( . '>16 t 

each Thag was round liis victim's neck, aiul iu a few short 
nioments their bodies were buried in graves ah'eady prepared 
tor them. In the \ery pkce where Major Slceman*s tent 
was pitched, his informant tokl him that the bodies of many 
murdered travellers lay concealed. The ghastly tale wa> 
. only too true. The gang was taken ; many more turned 
informers ; and a searching investigation brought to light 
the immense organisation ot the league, and a system of 
signs and counter- signs used by its members from one end of 
India to the other. A new department was created for the 
complete suppression of Thagism, and Major, afterwards 8ir 
\Villiam Sleeman, placed at its head. ^Vithin six years more 
than 3,000 Thags were brought to justice, and Thaggi became 

While a great change was introduced into India in 1830 by 
the navigation of the Ganges by a steamer built at Calcuttn, 
fitted with engines from England, the Court of Directors dis- 
couraged steam communication between England and India, 
wliich the Governor-General endeavoured to promote. Their 
nominal objection was the score of expense ; but there is no 
doubt that they strongly disliked a policy which would bring 
India nearer to England and take its exclusive possession out of 
their own hands. Their narrow-minded views however could 
not be sustained ; and though regular steamers did not run for 
>ome time afterwards, yet when Sir John Malcolm retired 
from Bombay in 1830 he sailed up the Red Sea in the 
steamer **Iiugli Lindsay,'' the pioneer of steam navigation in 
those waters. India was no longer to be a sealed book to all 
but the servants of the Company. On the renewal of its 
charter in 1833 it was deprived of the monopoly of its trade 
to China ; and the Court of Directors became an adminis- 
trative body subject to the Board of Control in England, 

zbb nieioRY OF nil: bc-mbay presidency. 

Ill spite of its jealousy of interlopers, the Company was com- 
pelleJ to allow Englishmen generally to reside in India, and 
liold lands there and develope the resources of the countrv 
hy their capital and enterprise. Much credit has been given 
to Lord William Bentinck for sanctioning the admission 
of natives of all castes, including native Christians whoso 
employment had been expressly prohibited, into the public 
service. It is difficult to see what change the order effected. 
To the present day only members of a few higher castes ever 
at themselves by education and training for the position of 
magistrates and other responsible posts, while as messengers 
and subordinate servants, unless men of inferior caste were 
chosen, the places could never have been filled. A more 
salutary measure was th;it which substituted the vernacular 
dialects for Persian in ihe law courts, and encouraged the 
knowledge of the language and literature of England 
throughout India. Nor was the spread of English knowledge 
confined to mere book learning. A medical college was 
established at Calcutta, and European medical science brought 
within the reach of the people of India. Hitherto the 
))arber had been the surgeon ; and physicians were little but 
gatherers of simples, while the study of anatomy was un- 

Much praise, though some blame, is therefore due to Lord 
AVilliam Bentinck for his internal administration. But his 
policy towards native states was miserably deficient. Each 
state for good or for evil was left to itself, as though Britisli 
power were non-existent. In the Nizam's dominions a 
minister impaired the revenue, and created a horde of 
usurers and Arab and Pathiin free-lances, whose extortions 
for loans advanced to the minister rendered the life of the 
j)eople an intolerable burden. Even the Court of Directors 


remonstrated. *' They could not," their despatch ran, " re- 
main indifferent spectators to the disorder and misrule 
\vhich had so long prevailed in the Nizam's territories." But 
the Governor-General left the remonstrances to he heeded or 
not as the minister liked, and the minister treated them with 
disdain. Anarchy was allowed to grow up and spread in 
Bhopal. In Sindia's dominions there was a struggle for 
power between the widow of Daolat Rao and her adopted 
son Jankoji, which threatened to disturb the peace of all 
India. Lord WilHam Bentinck. though he visited Gwalior, 
declined to interfere. In Jay pur a judicious interference 
w'ould have checked a commotion which assumed large pro- 
portions, and culminated in the murder of Mr. Blake, the 
assistant resident. Lord William Bentinck may have been 
actuated by the best intentions. But he desired to make 
the rulers of native states responsible to their subjects, an 
idea absolutely unintelhgible to the Oriental mind. It is 
only one instance out of many in which the application of 
European ideas and S3Stems to India brings out in the 
strongest relief the impossibility of grafting on the native 
mind methods for which it is by nature entirely unfitted. 
India above all places must be dealt with in accordance 
with facts and not with theories ; it is the last country in the 
Avorld to submit to the experiments of the faddist and 
the book- worm. The liberty of the press in England degene- 
rates into license in India ; a superficial acquaintance with 
literature is mistaken for knowledge; the clap-trap of pro- 
fessional agitators passes muster for politics. The cause of 
the ** Indian people" is taken up by a band of self-serving 
graduates who consistently revile the Government to which 
their class owes its very existence, while contact with the 
castes whom they designate the people of India means for 

290 HiSTOin" oi" THi: bombav pkesidkxc r. 

their self-styled champions contamination. Of all ideu^ 
perhaps the most inapplicable was that of the moral responijii- 
bility of the ruler to his people, and the hypothesis that a 
Government existed for the benefit of its subjects. But 
Lord William Bentinck was convinced of the righteousness 
of his political creed ; and for the sake of his theory anarchy 
and disorder were suffered to grow up unchecked in one state 
after another. The British Government had become supreme 
arbiter in India. Of the duty of that Government to its 
subjects, the natives states included, there was no doubt 
whatever ; and for his obstinate inaction Lord William 
Bentinck stands condemned. 

( 201 ) 


WHEN Lord William Bentinck retired to England the 
north-west frontier of India was a very long way 
within its present limits. The Panjah and Sind were as much 
foreign countries as Kabul. But a glance at the map will 
show that geographical necessity made it only a question of 
time for the incorporation of the Panjab and Sind into the 
British dominions. And in spite of his non-intervention iu 
the affairs of states that already formed part of the empire. 
Lord William Bentinck took steps in the case of both tlu^ 
Panjiib and Sind the consequences of which he little antiei- 
})ated. In 1831 there was seen a magnificent spectacle on 
the banks of the Satlej when the Governor-General advanced 
to meet Ranjit Sing, the Lion of the Panjab. This might v 
chieftain had welded into a compact body the loose con- 
federacy of the Sikhs ; and the British Government considered 
liim a potentate whose good-will it was advisable to secure. 
The two rulers parted with mutual expressions of friendship, 
and Ranjit scrupulously observed the faith which he phghted. 
In the following year an embassy was sent to Sind under 
Major Pottinger, who remained as political agent; and a 
treaty was signed with its rulers the Amirs which precluded 
the passing of mihtary stores or troops along the line of the 
Indus by land or water. 

In March 1836, Lord Auckland, the new Governor-General, 
arrived at Calcutta. He had no intention of being bound 


down by the observance of non-intervention ; the errors Avhich 
led to his calamities were of a very different nature. A year 
after his arrival a dispute as to the succession of the kingdom 
of Oudh led to civil war in that state. Lord Auckland 
promptly revealed his political principles. He took the 
matter into his own hands, and the crown was placed on the 
head of Nasir-ud-daula. 

In 1839 he was compelled to interfere with a strong hand 
in the little kingdom of Satara which Lord Hastings and 
Mr. Elphinstone had created in 1819. The Raja had for 
some time reigned quietly and inoflfensively. But his weak 
intellect and extravagant ideas of his own importance were 
w^orked upon by the intrigues of Brahmans and the ladies of 
liis court to such an extent that he actually proposed to 
re-establish the Manitha po\\er, and drive the English out 
of the country. He was detected on several occasions 
attempting to corrupt the sepoys of British regiments, and 
other intrigues were brought home to him. His folly and 
presumption made warnings useless, and on September 5th 
1839 he was finally deposed and sent to reside at Banaras. 
The state might fairly have been annexed, but a brother of 
the ex-Raja was invested with his sovereignty on the same 
conditions as his predecessor. It was owing to the advocacy 
of Sir James Carnac, Governor of Bombay, that the rebellious 
j)rince received such lenient treatment. 

But matters of greater import were now being dealt with 
by Lord Auckland. Shah Suja the Amir of Kabul had been 
driven out in 1809, and Dost Muhammad reigned in his stead. 
The exiled monarch resided under British protection at 
Ludhi^na in the Panjab. His successor. Dost Muhammad, 
diligently sought the alliance of the English on condition 
that they would not attempt to restore Shdh Suja, and would 


aid him in recovering Peshawar which had been seized by 
the troops of Ranjit Sing. But Lord Auckland had no 
wish to quarrel with the Lion of the Panjab for the sake 
of Dost Muhammad, and the dispute between those chieftains 
continued to smoulder. Meanwhile, Dost IMuhammad had 
received at Kabul, as an envoy from the Governor-General, 
the accomplished Alexander Burnes. Burnes was empowered 
only to negociate a commercial treaty ; but, judging English 
by the standard of Oriental diplomacy, Dost Muhammad enter- 
tained hopes that trade was merely a screen behind which 
the politics of the Panjab and Afghanistan could be discussed. 
While he was chafing under the loss of Peshawar, and vainly 
seeking the aid of the English to recover it, there arrived at 
Kabul in 1837 a Russian envoy named Captain Vicovick. Dost 
Muhammad perceived that the English entertained the gravest 
anxiety about the Russian advance towards India through 
Khiva, and he determined to play off one envoy against the 
other. He hoped that when they saw his alliance sought 
l)y a hostile power the importance of his friendship would be 
magnified in the eyes of the English, and that by dangling 
with the Russian offers he would stimulate the Governor- 
General to form the much-desired convention with himself. 
But Dost Muhammad was playing with dangerous tools. The 
Russian scare, not without grounds, caused grave uneasiness 
to Lord Auckland and his Council. Herat was the northern 
gate of India ; and the king of Persia in alliance with Dost 
Muhammad's brother Avas laying siege to it with the aid of 
Russian money and Russian officers. The siege failed owhig 
to the vigour and judgement of Eldred Pottinger, a young 
artillery officer who happened to be travelling in Central 
Asia. The result of Dost Muhammad's policy was not what 
he looked for. Lord Auckland made up his mind to expel the 


chief who sought his alhance by flaunting the Russian over- 
tures in his face ; and, by restoring Shah Suja to his 
throne, he hoped to secure a friendly Afghanistan as a barrier 
against Russian aggression. At the same time all risk of a 
struggle between the Afghans and Ranjit Sing, which might 
involve the English, would be done away. In April 1838 
Burnes returned to India, and Vicovick remained for the 
present triumphant. 

It was necessary to demonstrate to Persia that no inter- 
ference at Herat or elsewhere would be tolerated, and Lord 
Auckland instructed the Bombay Government to ^send an 
expedition to Karrak an island in the Persian Gulf. The 
Persian king understood the warning thus conveyed, and a 
treaty was signed which guaranteed Herat from any further 
molestation from that quarter. It was urged upon Lord 
Auckland and his Council that Russia could only act through 
Persia, and that Persia being now dealt with nothing further 
need be done, and Dost jNluhammad should be left in peace 
at Kabul. Subsequent events have shown what Russia can 
do without aid from Persia ; and of the ultimate Muscovite 
aims upon India there can be no manner of doubt. But that 
does not justify Lord Auckland for restoring by force an un- 
popular king whom his subjects had expelled from the 
throne, and whose repeated attempts to regain it they had 
invariably resisted. The war was condemned by Lord 
William Rentinck, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Wellesley, 
and Mountsluart Elphinstone ; but the die was cast, and in 
November 1838 a magnificent army assembled at Ferozj)ur on 
the borders of the Panjiib, and was there inspected by Lord 
Auckland and Ranjit Sing. Ranjit Sing had a very clear 
idea of what was likely to be the final extent of the Rritisli 
possessions in India. On seeing a map of India with the 

rompauy's possessions coloured red, he is said to have ex- 
claimed- — '' Sab lal hojaega !" it will all become red. But he 
was not going to hasten the inevitable process, and not a 
J^ritish regiment was to march through his territories. 
Through the Panjab the Kne to Kabul would have 
measured 500 miles, or from Atak on the Indus 300. 
But the Bengal army assembled at Ferozpur was to 
march to the south of the Panjab, down the valley of the 
Satlej and the Indus to Rori. Thence it Avas to cross the 
river, and advance through the furious heat of the Sind desert 
and the terrific defiles of the Bolan pass round to K^indahar 
and Ghazni, a route not less than 1.500 miles. Ranjit Sing 
Avas strong and his territory had to be respected. The 
Amirs were supposed to be weak, and the troops were sent 
through their dominions. The details of the Afghjin campaign 
are without the limits of Bombay history. But the invasion 
brought in its train the conquest of the province of Sind, 

The course of Bombay history had for many generations 
separated itself from Sind, a land which historically and 
geographically belongs to the Panjj'ib. From the time of its 
conquest by the Muhammadans it had been ruled by a suc- 
-cession of foreign governments. In the beginning of the 18th 
century the Kalloras, military fanatics from Persia, obtained 
the sovereignty and for a time retained hereditary power under 
the title of Mias. In 1771 the Beluch tribe of Talpuris settled 
in the plains of Sind. They obtained the chief offices of the 
state and became the soldiers of the country. The Kallora 
prince jealous of their power put the chief of the tribe to 
death. A terrible series of murders, assassinations and mas- 
sacres ensued. At length the Talpuris made themselves rulers 
of the land, and drove the son of the last Kallora into exile 
in the Panjab. The first Talpuri chief was forced to share 


Lis possessions with his hiothei's. He died in 1800, and hi* 
brothers again divided the country, but unequally, and called 
themselves the Amirs or Lords of Sind. From this division 
sprang the Kvrpur Amirs of Upper Sind, the HydarabacI 
Amirs of Lower Sind, and the Mirpur Amirs. By a strange 
order of succession the Rais Pagri, or Turban, of superior rule 
passed in each family to the brother and not to the son. The 
Hydarabad family was to some extent obeyed by the others^ 
The Amirs soon called down more of the hill Beluchis, 
giving them land on military terms ; and with their aid they 
considerably extended their frontiers. From the Afghans 
they took Shikarpur, and the fortress of Bakar that was built 
on a rock in the middle of the Indus. In few places has 
Oriental despotism assumed a more terrible aspect than under 
these rapacious usurpers. '^ Give the poor a dhotar, it is 
enough," Shiwaji had said. *' What are the people to us/' 
observed the Amir Nur Muhammad to Lieutenant Eastwick in 
Sind. The policy of William the Conqueror of England was 
imitated; and the most thriving villages were depopulated to 
make Shikdrgahs or hunting-grounds. Slavery existed in 
the most repulsive form, while the Amirs collected from their 
subjects the uttermost farthing to pile up their swollen 

In 1775 an English factory was established at Tatta on the 
delta of the Indus. It was abandoned in 1792 owing to the 
pressure of the Talpuris, but in 1799 Lord Wellesley made an 
effort to restore it. The reigning Talpuri prince appeared 
favourable to its maintenance, but the influence of Tipu from; 
Mysur and the jealousy of traders at Hydanibad were too power- 
ful to be resisted, and Mr. Crowe, the superintendent of the 
factory, was in 1800 peremptorily ordered to quit the country. 
In 1807 the Amirs were prevailed on to execute a treaty 

THE a:miks or sim-. 297 

which provided for intercourse with the EiigUsh by envOY;?^ 
and for the exclusion of the French. This was renewed iH' 
1820 for the purpose of setthng border disputes with Kachli, 
where it had been necessary to send an army from Bombay 
in 1816. In 1831 a closer communication was made witli 
Sind at the express wish of Lord Ellenborough, then Presi- 
dent of the Board of Control ; and, for the ostensible purpose 
of conveying presents to Banjit Sing, Alexander Burues was 
sent to explore the Indus and ascertain its commercial capa- 
bilities. He succeeded with great difficulty, and the advan- 
tages of the trade route became knov.n. What was likelv 
to come of this exploration by the English, in the interests of 
commerce, was speedily realized. '*The mischief is done; you^ 
have seen our country ! " cried a Beluchi soldier, when Burne.^ 
entered the river. "Alas I Sind is gone, since the English 
have seen the river which is the high road to its conquest," 
was the observation of a wealthy Muhammadan near Tatta, 
The following year Captain Bottinger was sent to survey the 
course of the lower Indus, and to negociate the treaty that 
has been already referred to. He found the lower country 
governed by the Amirs of Hydarabad, the chief of whom was 
Ali Murad.* In Kyrpur, the capital of Upper Sind, Mir 
Rustam was chief, and practically independent, though he 
faintly acknowledged the superiority of Hydarabad. Identical 
treaties were formed with Ali Murad and Rustam. Free pas- 
sages were granted through Sind for travellers and merchants ; 
but no vessel of war was to float on the Indus or military stores 
to be conveyed by it. A reasonable tariff was to be proclaimed. 
In 1834, by another commercial treaty, the tariff was fixed, 
and Colonel Pottinger appointed political agent for Sind. 

* Xot the well-knowu All Murad of Kyrpur. 


The tolls taken at the mouth of the Indus were to he shared 
hy the British Government ; for did not their own river the 
>Satlej flow to the sea mingled with the waves of the great 
river of Sind ? A year later a steam-hoat from Bomhay 
navigated the Indus. 

In 1836 Ranjit Sing threatened an invasion of the Amir's 
territory. Lord Auckland welcomed this opportunity for in- 
terference. His whole policy turned on counteracting the 
increasing influence of Russia in Central Asia. That policy 
it has been seen, was to he effected by obtaining control over 
the intervening country of Afghanistan. The ruler of the 
Panjab was too wary to be coerced into furthering this 
project ; Sind was another affair altogether. Lord Auckland 
pressed the Amirs to receive a British force in their capital 
to protect them against the Lion of the Panjab, and Colonel 
Pottinger went to Hydarabad to negociate the proposition. 
The peculiar constitution of the Amirs rendered all negociation 
with them difficult. The chief Amirs of each branch was 
always willing to consent, but there was invariably a strange 
difficulty in obtaining the compliance of the inferior nobles, 
each of whom was independent of the rest. The territories 
of the three chiefs were mixed and confused in the most be- 
wildering way, and this labyrinthine system they had no wish 
to disentangle for the benefit of the encroaching foreigner. 

Colonel Pottinger reached Hydarabad in September 1836 ; 
but, though he reported in December that his negociation 
was successful, no ratified treaty appears to have been con- 
cluded until a year and a half later. It was then made only 
in consequence of significant hints that llanjit Sing would, 
to say the least, not be discouraged from working his 
|)leasure in Sind. Tlie argument did not lose force from the 
)iotoriou9 fact that the connection between Ranjit Sing and 



the Governor-Geucral had been cemented by a personal inter- 
view. Thus was obtained the ratified treaty of April 1838, 
providing for the mediation of the Indian Government and 
the permanent residence of a British political agent at 
riydarabcid ; and that officer was to be at liberty to move 
about i;he country attended by such an escort of troops as 
liis Government should consider suitable. In other words, 
the county was to be occupied by British troops. Lord 
Auckland believed, not without grounds, that Russian agents 
were busily engaged in combining the nations of Central 
Asia against the British empire in the East. The Persians, 
he knew, were besieging Herat with their assistance. AYhether 
b}^ appealing to the self-interests of those races — cultivating 
-the good-will of the Afghans, Sindis, Turkmans, Persians— he 
might have counteracted the Muscovite designs it is im- 
possible to say. J^ord Auckland's proceedings, whatever else 
they did, succeeded in rendering the English name odious to 
one and all of these peoples. 

In June 1838 a tripartite treaty was drawn up between 
the English, Kanjit Sing, and Shah Suja, part of which had 
reference to Sind, whose rulers were not consulted in the 
matter. The Amirs of Sind were considered to be vassals of 
the kingdom of Kabul. As de jure ruler of Afghcinistan, 
•Shah Suja had long-standing claims against them to su- 
])remacy and tribute. By the treaty he now relinquished these 
claims, on condition of the payment of a sum of money to be 
'determined by the English. The Shah, the Amirs were 
told, would arrive at Shikarpur in November supported by 
^ British army. The money must then be paid, or in lieu 
■of payment the Shah would take military possession of the 
town and district of Shikarpur. The amount was left 
Jindetermined, but it was significantly observed " the Amirs 


must be wealthy." The claim was obsolete, and the Amirs 
retorted plainly that it was not made by Shah Suja, but that 
the demand was entirely that of the Enghsh by whom he 
had been supported for twent^'-five years. The Amirs were 
also told that the article of the former treaty, which forbade 
the transmision of military stores up the Indus, must be 
suspended in favour of the English. As regards this parti- 
cular measure, it is manifest that in drawing up the former 
treaty an exception was intended in favour of those who 
had the provision inserted. 

Whatever the Amirs might think of the proceedings of the 
English it must have been clear to them that arguments were 
useless. Five thousand men were ready to sail from Bombay, 
and the Bengal army was coming down the Satlej, without 
the form of asking leave, to occupy their territories. It was 
chiefly the Amirs of Lower Sind who w^re pressed for money 
for the Shah's army, and for the admission into their country 
of a subsidiary force, with the certain result of the whole 
of their dominions being subdued. But it was in Upper 
Sind that the Bengal army would cross the Indus. In the 
middle of the river was the rock and fortress of Bakar. Sir 
Alexander Burnes was ordered to negociate a treaty with the 
Kyrpur Amirs for the loan of the rock and fortress. It was^ 
now said, and undoubtedly not without some reason, that 
the Sind authorities had violated the commercial treaties. 
Lord Auckland displayed intense indignation, and at the same 
time pity, for the distracted government ; and declared that 
5,000 troops should seize Shikarpur, and such other strategical 
positions as might be necessary. Those of the Amirs who 
had shown any unwillingness to aid the invasion of Afghan- 
istan were to be displaced from power ; but they were all 
assured that the seizure of their territories meant nothing 


injurious to their interests. Menaces, flattery, promises, 
and evasions were alike in vain. The Amirs then offered 
personal violence to Colonel Pottinger, and this failing to 
intimidate him was followed hy abject apologies. The iron 
screw was indeed being twisted on Hydanibad by Pottinger, 
and Kyrpur by Burnes. From one demand indeed Pottinger 
recoiled. How could he demand money from the Amirs, on 
a claim due to Shdh Suja, when they produced formal dis- 
charges of all claims written in Korans duly signed and 
attested ? His scruples were set at rest by instructions that 
that part of the transaction would be arranged by another 
officer. The whole course of the negociations was in fact 
sickening, and it is needless to follow it through its humili- 
ating details. Both Burnes and Pottinger advised open war 
in preference to this diplomatic hypocrisy. 

In December 1838, Sir John Keane arrived at the mouth 
of the Indus, and in January 1839 marched up to Hydanibad. 
Driven to despair, the Kyrpur chief, Rustam, gave up Bakar, 
or, as he phrased it, *'the heart of his country," and admitted 
Upper Sind to be a British dependency. The Amirs of the 
lower provinces, exasperated beyond endurance, plundered the 
stores collected at Hydarabad, chased Lieutenant Easiwick 
ignominiously from the residency, and put 20,000 Eeluchis 
in motion against the Bombay army. Karachi was instantly 
seized by the English and an advance ordered, when the Amirs, 
quailing at the storm which they had raised, signed a new- 
treaty, and for the indulgence paid ^*200,000, half of it on 
the instant. The treaty brought Sind as entirely into the 
British power as was possible without absolute annexation. 
Stringent as the document was it did not satisfy Lord Auck- 
land. Without the slightest reference to tb.e Amirs lie 
retained Karachi, and altered the treat v to that effect. 


The treaty had heeii made in the names of Hydarabad and 
the Indian Government. But that implied a paramount 
chief of Sind. A separate treaty was therefore made with 
each Amir, and they were tokl that '^ they must consider 
Sind to be, as it was in reahty, a portion of Hindustan, in 
which the British were paramount, and entitled to act as thev 
consider best and fittest for the general good of the whole 

The only palliation of these negociations is the score of 
necessity. If the invasion of 'Afghanistan was an act of self- 
preservation the injustice in Sind may be condoned as pardon- 
able, though even then it would have been less ignoble to 
seize the country without the miserable pretexts that were 
stooped to. As to the facts about self-preservation, they need 
not be considered in the history of the Bombay Presidency. 
But one consideration cannot be too strongly insisted on. Bad 
as all this was, the transgression Avas not against a nation : 
it was against Amirs who had usurped the country within 
the memory of living men, and who were the most atrocious 
tyrants that can possibly be imagined. The British camps 
offered an asylum to thousands ; and of the Queen's subjects^ 
in India none have gained more from the British Government 
than the peaceable inhabitants of Sind. The Amirs and the 
fierce Beluchi warriors, who hved on the spoil of the Sindi^;, 
suffered. But even this defence cannot be pleaded on b'e- 
lialf of Lord Auckland, for his treaties left the people in the 
absolute power of their rulers. 

The armies now passed on to Kabul ; the subsidiary force- 
entered Sind, and the Amirs passively recognised the 
treaties. Colonel Pottinger, created a baronet, continued' 
resident in Sind until the beginning of 1840. He was then 
replaced in the lower country by Major Oiitram, INIr. Ross 

THE AMIES Oi .>INh. 303'- 

Bell taking charge of the upper country. This officer died 
in 1841, and Major Outram became agent for the whole ot 
Sind and Beluchistan. But ^vhile the Amirs continued 
apparently submissive they evaded payment of the tribute. 
Territory is more valuable than tribute, and Lord Auckland 
in 1841 seized Shikarpur, then the largest city in Sind. Bakar 
was theirs already ; and with these places in the North and 
Kanichi, the only good port in the South, the English held 
the Amirs in a grasp of iron. 

Nor were the military operations then going on confined 
to India itself and countries connected with it by land. In 
1837 a ship was wrecked at Aden, and the crew plundered 
by Arab subjects of the Sultan of Laling. The demands of 
the Indian Government were evaded, and Aden was therefore 
bombarded and taken. Peace was made in 1843, but Aden 
was retained and strongly fortified, and it is garrisoned by 
the Bombay army. It is curious to note that in the time of 
Lord Wellesley, he and his Council recorded their opinion 
that the proposed measure (to occupy Aden) was in no 
respect ehgible (1800). The overture of the Sultan of Aden 
Avas therefore declined in conciliatory terms. Perim, too, the 
island at the mouth of the Red Sea was stated not to possess 
the advantages expected of it, and it was not thought proper 
that it should be occupied by British forces. 

( 304 ) 


UNTIL the beginning of 1842 Sincl reposed in apparent 
quietude. British stores passed np the river un- 
molested, for none dared uicddle with the irresistible British 
strength. But the fire of revenge smouldered in the hearts 
of the humiliated Amirs, and the blast was springing up to 
fan it into flame. A terrible tragedy had occurred at Kabul. 
England's generals had blundered- her soldiers had forgot- 
ten of what race they sprang. In January 1842, the whole 
army at Kabul capitulated ; and 4,500 soldiers and 12,000 
followers marched back towards India. Of these only one, 
a doctor named Brydon, survived to tell of the awful catas- 
trophe by which every soul hut himself perished in the defiles 
of the K by her Pass. 

Lord Auckland was stricken down in mind and body when 
he heard the miserable news. But a new and more vigorous 
man was fortunately on his Avay : and on the 28th of 
February his successor. Lord Ellenborough, who had already 
been President of the Board of Control, arrived at Calcutta. 
He found the public mind confused with terror at the Kabul 
vicissitude. Nothing was being done to retrieve the misfor- 
tune. The soldiers were de])ressed in spirit, and smarting 
under the deprivation of their just allowance?. But the sky 
was not all gloomy. Apart from 8ind, and tlie country 
l>pyond the frontier, India was in profound peace. No con- 
(juered state lifted its head : no chief attempted to rally 


round him the thousands of unquiet spirits that ever exist in 
Oriental states, or drew his sword against the supreme 
power. Ranjit Sing was dead, but the Sikhs as yet continued 
his friendship with the Enghsh ; the Marathas, under a firm 
and liberal rule, had turned their swords into ploughshares. 
So Lord Ellenborough could concentrate his entire energy on 
remedying the evils that his predecessor's policy had brought 
upon the empire. 

A heavy blow had been struck at British supremac3^ It 
was absolutely necessary to show the Eastern world that a 
reverse did not mean defeat. The ]Ouglish arms must for the 
safety of the empire be borne triumphantly through Afghanis- 
tan, and the British hold on Sind must be maintained. Lord 
Ellenborough had not come out to pass judgement on his 
predecessor's political morality ; he had to accept accom- 
plished facts, and to insist upon the observation of existing 
treaties. It was as much beyond the range of practical 
politics to retire from Sind because Lord Auckland had 
seized it under a guise of friendship, with a velvet glove on 
an iron hand, as to give up Bengal on account of Ohve's deal- 
ings with Mir Jafar and Umachand. lie sent a solemn 
warning to the Amirs. ''On the day," he wrote, ** on which 
you shall be faithless to the British Government, sovereignty 
will have passed from you ; your dominion will be given to 
others." Major Outram at an early period informed Lord 
Ellenborough that " lie had it in his power to expose the 
hostile intrigues of the Amirs to such an extent as might be 
deemed sufficient to authorise the dictation of any terms to 
those chiefs, or any measure necessary to place British power 
on a secure footing;" and he advised the assumption of the 
entire districts to render British power invulnerable. Major 
Outram's deliberately expressed opinions are noteworthy in 


view of the embittered controversy which subsequently sprang: 
up between himself and Sir Charles Napier, whom he accused 
of intentionally bringing on an inexcusable war. Outram's^ 
proofs of the hostile disposition of the Amirs were ten in 
number. They were undoubtedly numerous and strong ; they 
showed positive violations of the treaties made with Lord Auck- 
land, and a wide-spread conspiracy to destroy the British 
troops in Sind. It has been said that some of the papers prov- 
ing the conspiracy were forgeries. That tolls were being levied 
and other articles of the treaties broken was beyond dispute. 
In forwarding his report Outram recommended a new treaty 
of very stringent terms. Lord Ellenborough accepted the 
facts, but drew up a milder treaty. He proposed to punish 
the Amirs for their infidelity by taking from them the dis- 
tricts of Sabzalkot and Bhung Bhara in the north of Sind,, 
and restoring them to the chief of Bahawalpur, from whom 
they had been wrested thirty years before by Rustam and 
the other Amirs. The right of cutting fuel for the steamers 
on the banks of the Indus was insisted upon. Instead of the 
tribute, Sakar, Rori and Bakar in Upper Sind, and Tatta and 
Karachi in Lower Sind, were to be ceded in perpetuity. 
This secured the absolute military command of the Indus and 
freedom of trade on its course. Arrears of tribute were to be 

It was hardly to be supposed that the Amirs would yield 
to these terms without a murmur. The progress of the 
avenging army through Kabul might cause them to bide 
their time, but the final desertion of that country in Septem- 
ber 1842 appeared to them a proof of weakness. The vic- 
torious Afghans reminded them that they were feudatories of 
the Afghan kingdom, and incited them to act boldly in the 
common cause ; and the Amirs consulted together how they 


inight best act against the English, x\t this juncture Major 
Outram was replaced in political charge of Sind by Sir 
Charles Napier. " I will present your treaty to the Amirs," 
Sir Charles Napier wrote to the Governor-General; **I will 
spare no pains to convince them that neither injury nor in- 
justice are meditated, and that by accepting the treaty they 
will become more rich and more secure of power than they 
are now. If they refuse to listen to reason, if they persist in 
sacrificing everything to their avarice and hunting-grounds, 
they must even have their way, and try the force of arms 
at their peril, if they are so resolved.'* Among the many 
Amirs of the three branches it was unlikely that all would 
be actuated by patriotism. Rustam of Kyrpur was an old 
man. His younger brother, Ali Murad, determined to obtain 
for himself the Kyrpur turban of supremacy ; and with this 
view he threw himself into the arms of the English. Sobddr 
of Hydarabad adopted a somewhat similar course. Ali Murad 
induced Rustam to come to him at his strong fort of Diji, 
and there resign to him the pagri or turban of command, 
with all the rights and lands attached to it. Sir Charles 
Napier had meanwhile crossed the Indus with a considerable 
body of troops in the middle of December, and was proceed- 
ing to take possession of Sabzalkot and Bhung Bhara. He 
was now close to Diji ; and, seemingly entertaining some doubt 
as to the voluntary nature of this cession, he proposed to 
Rustam to visit him, and offered to restore him to his dignity 
if he had been coerced. Rustam would have nothing to do 
with the English leader. He fled into the desert with his 
treasure, two guns, and several thousand followers. From 
this flight the Sind war may be said to be dated. 

In order to conduct the details of the new treaties, the 
Governor-General had permitted Sir Charles Napier to name 


a commissioner. He selected Major Outram, and Lord 
EllenborougVi, in spite of his having no personal predilection 
for that officer, sanctioned the nomination. Major Outram 
was accordingly recalled to Sind. He had to deal with the 
three sovereign families of Kyrpur, Hydarabad, and Mirpur, 
and the separate members of those families who claimed 
more or less independent power. The flight of Rustam 
secured the alliance of Ali Murad ; and while it forced the 
other princes of the Kyrpur family to display their hostility, 
it effectually prevented their union Avhether with one another 
or with the chiefs of Lower Sind, Of their hostility there was 
no doubt. It might have been unreasonable to expect any- 
thing else. Rustam denied his cession of the turban to Ali 
Murad, but refused to meet Sir Charles Napier. The English 
general's first step was to disperse the armed bands which 
had gathered in clouds around Kyrpur. A strong demon- 
stration effected this without the need of striking a blow. 
But the crisis w^as only deferred. The whole country was 
rising, and it was known that the Amirs counted on having 
70,000 men and thirty pieces of cannon, 'i he slightest ad- 
vantage to their cause would bring down in myriads the 
Afghans and Beluchis from the mountains. Besides these 
forces, they counted on the fierce heat of their climate, their 
arid deserts, and the deadly miasma of the sw^amps along the 
Indus as allies whose aid could not fail them. And they had 
two stupendous fortresses at Hydarabad and Imamgahr. 

By the beginning of January 1843 it was evident to the 
English general that while the Amirs were amusing them- 
selves with protracted negociations they had no intention of 
signing the treaty. They were with rapidity and energy 
concentrating their forces to attack him at the close of the 
cold weather. But while he gave them every opportunity 


of signing the treaty, he had not the least intention of letting 
the cold weather pass, and be compelled to carry on a cam- 
paign under a sun more formidable than the weapons of the 
enemy. A son of Rustam, named Muhammad Khan, had 
thrown himself with 3,000 men and treasure into Imamgahr, 
which he had stored with grain and gunpowder, and was 
making the basis of operations for the army of Upper Sind. 
The fortress was in the heart of the desert. Its exact 
position was not known, and no European had ever set eyes 
on it. It was said to be eight long marches distant. In 
several of the marches there was no water. The Amirs had 
absolute faith in the desert and believed the fort to be im- 
pregnable. Sir Charles Napier's political career in Sind has 
been bitterly attacked. But on his daring courage and 
military genius no doubt whatever has been cast. The 
Amirs had not realised the nature of their opponent. He 
resolved to capture Imamgahr. 

The task was hazardous for his army of 3,000 men. But 
a native agent brought such a tale of arid sand and dried-up 
springs that the general accepted the impossibility of moving 
his whole army through the desert. He selected 250 irregular 
cavalry, put 350 of the 22nd Queen's Regiment on camels, 
loaded ten more camels with provisions and eighty with water 
and plunged into the desert. The march began on the evening 
of the 5th of January. Ali Murad, as the chief of Kyrpur 
in alliance with the British, accompanied the force. The 
night was dark, the sand deep, and the guide missed his way. 
But before they halted the troops had moved twenty-five miles. 
The next day's march was shorter ; forage failed, water was 
scanty, and three- fourths of the cavalry was sent back. 

Nor was the march unmolested. Rustam and his armed 
followers were on the flank of the English with seven 


guns. Major Outram was sent to bring him to reason, 
while Napier pushed on with his fifty horsemen, two 
howitzers, and his 350 Irish infantry. The country 
through which their route lay was a succession of sand- 
hills, some so steep that the howitzers could only be 
dragged up by men. The solitude of the waste w^as un- 
broken. They were not even sure of the right course ; 
food and water were doled out in scanty portions, but they 
marched on with unimpaired energy. On the eighth day they 
reached Imamghar to find that Muhammad Khan, in spite of 
having a strong fortress, abundant supplies, and a garrison 
six times as numerous as the little band coming against him, 
had fled with his treasure. The fortress belonged to Ali 
Murad the ally of the English. But it might again be seized 
by a hostile party. The general therefore determined to 
destroy it utterly, and Ali Murad fired the first gun against its 
walls. The grain was distributed to the troops, the stores of 
powder employed to load twenty-four mines for the blowing 
up of the fortress. This work was carried out by Major 
Waddington, the chief engineer. The matches were all lighted 
and the assistant engineer took refuge behind some cover, but 
he perceived his chief bending over the train of one mine. He 
eagerly called out to his chief to run as the other mines 
were about to burst. "That may be,'* was the reply, "but 
this mine must burst also." Major Waddington deliberately 
arranged his match to his satisfaction and walked away, 
marvellously escaping injury from the huge fragments which 
the bursting mines hurled around him. Flushed with suc- 
cess, the gallant band marched back to the Indus without 
the loss of a man ; their object was completely attained, the 
enemy's plan of campaign baffled. In the House of Lords 
the Duke of Wellington thus described the exploit. "Sir 


Charles Napier's march upon Imamghar is one of the most 
curious military feats which I have ever known to be per- 
formed. He moved his troops through the desert against 
hostile forces ; he had his guns transported under circum- 
stances of extreme difficulty, and in a manner the most ex- 
traordinary, and he cut off a retreat of the enemy which 
rendered it impossible for them ever to regain their positions." 
On the 23rd of January the general brought his troops 
to Pir Abu Bakr, in the valley of the Indus. He had already 
invited the Amirs of Lower and Upper Sind to send envoys 
to Kyrpur with full powers to sign the treaty. From Upper 
Sind none came ; from Lower Sind the envoys sent by only 
one of the Amirs had the requisite powers. By the end of 
January there was no change in the situation. The general 
knew that the hot season was rapidly approaching and no 
time was to be lost. While he hoped for peace he had 
no reason to expect it. The conduct of the Amirs was 
suspicious. Armed men were gathering from every quarter. 
It was beyond all manner of doubt that the Amirs of all 
Sind were making common course. Major Outram held that 
he could bring the Amirs to submission, and was therefore 
allowed to proceed to Hydarabad while the general slowly 
moved his forces in that direction. Everything was done 
to delay his movements. The Amirs imagined that by 
continually promising to sign the treaty, and then by delaying 
on all possible pretexts, they could procrastinate till their 
tierce sun drove the British troops out of the field to take 
shelter in cantonments. They protested that if the general 
advanced southwards they could not restrain their Beluchi 
warriors, whose very existence they had previously denied. 
They sent a secretary to Outram to sign a promise to accept 
the treaty, and at the same time assembled a large army four 


miles north of Hyclarabad. By the 12th of February 
that army amounted to 60,000 men, but on that 
day the Amirs signed and sealed the new treaty with great 
formalities. The result proved that the Amirs were right 
in one thing. They could not restrain their wild Beluchi 
warriors. Whether they had any wish to restrain them 
is another question. Their subsequent behaviour hardly 
warrants the supposition that they did. But Outram, quite 
inconsistently with his policy in Lord ^Auckland's time, 
would see or hear nothing to their disadvantage, and he 
besought Sir Charles Napier to leave his army and come 
alone to Hydarab:id and settle the whole matter. The advice 
was fortunately not accepted. On the 14tli of February the 
Amirs bribed Outram's native secretary into giving them the 
treaties which they had solemnly signed and sealed ; they 
tore them to pieces and trampled them under foot in the 
darbar in which tbey had signed them. But the wild 
Beluchis were furious at the disgrace which had accrued to 
their rulers by the signature of the treaty, and were not to be 
pacified by its destruction. Incensed beyond measure, they 
attacked the Residency on the 15th ; and Outram, a magni- 
ficent soldier if a doubtful diplomatist, after making a 
spirited resistance, took refuge in a steamer which the general 
had sent in anticipation of danger. 

Both sides prepared for battle. The forces of the Amirs 
took up a splendid position at Miani, a few miles north of 
Hydardbcid. On the night of the 16th the British army 
marched to meet them, and at eight o'clock next morning the 
advanced guard discovered the Amirs' camp. Their front 
was upon a natural rampart, formed by a sand-bank lining 
the nullah or dry bed of the river Falaili, a connection of the 
Indus. Their wings rested on large Shikargahs, or wooded 

CONQUEST OF SlXi>. 313-- 

huntlng-groanda, dense with jungle and trees. The natural 
strength of the position was increased by skilful military 
appliances. The enemy numbered thirty-five thousand, 
the British less than twenty-four hundred, and from this 
small number a guard had to be taken to protect the 
followers and baggage. Sir Charles Napier had twelve guns 
flanked by fifty Madras Sappers and Miners, the 22nd Queen's 
Regiment of impetuous Irishmen, the 1st Grenadiers and 
the 22nd and 25th Bombay Infantry, the 9th Bengal 
Cavalry, and the Sind Horse led by Captain Jacob. 
A plain, a thousand yards wide, separated the armies, 
and the Beluchis' cannons were already firing across it. 
The advance was ordered full against the enemy's front. In 
the Shikargah, on their left, the general detected an opening, 
which had been prepared to allow the Beluchis to pour out 
on the flank and rear of the advancing British line. The 
inspiration of genius seized him. He ordered Captain Tew 
with eighty men of the 22nd to block up the entrance, and' 
if need be die at his post. He did die at his post ; but the 
opening was defended, and the action of G,000 men paralysed 
by that of eighty. 

A magnificent spectacle was no^v seen. Dashing across 
the plain, swept by the Beluchi cannon and matchlocks^ 
the British troops pressed eagerly on to close with the 
numberless masses of the enemy. When they were within 
a hundred yards of the high sloping bank, over which the 
heads of the Beluchis could be seen, they wheeled into line. 
The voice of the general, shrill and clear, commanded the 
charge ; with a British shout the guns were brought into 
position and the infantry rushed up the sloping bank. For 
a moment they staggered back at what they saw beyond it. 
Far as the eye could reach the wild Beluchi warriors 


covered the ground, brandishing their sharp swords. With 
wild yells and frantic gestures they dashed with awful 
ferocity at the devoted band that dared to fling itself against 
them. But a moment later the Irish, and the Bombay sepoys, 
^vith cheer upon cheer, met their charge and sent their fore- 
most masses rolling back in blood. For three hours and a 
half the furious contest raged. Never more than three yards 
4ipart, the adverse ranks were borne this way and that, as 
Barbarian might and British discipline for a time swayed the 
scales. The savage Beluchis, w^ith unabated but vain fury, 
tried to drive back the English troops. They leaped upon 
the guns and were blown away by twenties at a time ; the 
hayonet and small arms sent the dead in hundreds down the 
slope — ever more and more came on. The English general 
seemed everywhere, cheering and rallying his men. 

Nearly all the English officers were slain or wounded, 
and victory had not yet shown itself. Napier saw that in 
another twenty minutes the battle must be lost or won. He 
had hitherto kept in reserve his Bengal and Sind horsemen 
under Colonel Pattle, the 2nd in command. These he ordered 
to turn the enemy's position on their right. So rough was 
the ground over which the cavalry had to advance, and so 
cut up by ditches, that fifty of the Sind troopers were thrown 
from their horses by the leaps. But rapidly mounting, they 
crossed the bed of the nullah, gained the open plain beyond, 
and charged witli irresistible fury. At last the Beluchi 
swordsmen wavered. The 22nd saw their masses shake; 
they hurled themselves upon them with the shout of victory; 
the gallant sepoys by their side pushed their opposing forces 
into the ravine and renewed the fierce struggle. The battle 
was won. Doggedly and slowly the Beluchis retreated, still 
glaring with fury as the victors poured in volley upon 


Tolley into their ranks till they were weary of slaughter. The 
carnage on both sides was awful. The enemy lost 6,000 men, 
or three to each man of the British force. Napier lost 270, 
including twenty officers of whom four were field-officers. 

The next morning at daybreak the general sent to the 
Amirs to say that he would immediately storm Hydarabad 
if they did not surrender. Six sovereign princes entered his 
camp and offered themselves as prisoners, laying their swords 
at his feet. Out of pity for the fallen their swords were 
restored to them. On the 19th the army took possession of 
Hydarabad, the Amirs being left in full enjoyment of their 
palaces and gardens, while the conquering general contented 
himself with a small field-tent. His work was by no means 
over. The chiefs of Kyrpur and Hydarabad were settled 
with. There remained Sher Muhammad of Mirpur, who was 
only six miles off from Miiini with 10,000 more men whom 
he was bringing up to the aid of the other Amirs. Napier in- 
tended to suppress opposition from this quarter immediately 
fifter the occupation of Hydarabad. But Outram begged 
leave to negociate with Sher Muhammad, whose temper he 
understood thoroughly and who, he affirmed, never meant 
to fight. Napier gave a reluctant consent, and the Amir 
promptly rallied round him the Beluchis who had escaped 
from the late battle. He soon had 25,000 men, and prepared 
to begin the war again. The captive Amirs did their utmost 
to aid him by plots and intrigues, so the general put them 
on board his steamer on the river. 

Sher Muhammad was anxious to induce the general to 
follow him into his deserts, and so have the English troops 
at his mercy. But Napier was prudent as well as dashing. 
His army was decimated, more troops were on their way to 
join him, and while awaiting their arrival he formed a strong 


intrenched camp not far from the field of battle at MianL 
For more than a month he remained inactive, baffling his- 
enemies' plans and filling them with false hopes that inactivity 
meant weakness. Kapier, meanwhile, obtained six months' 
provisions, and reinforcements of every kind ; and by enticing 
Sher Muhammad close to his position he saved his men from 
long marches and was able to choose his own field of battle. 
Sher Muhammad was totally misled. He sent a message to- 
the general that his army must yield or it would be utterly 
destroyed. By the 23rd of March Napier had 5,000 fighting 
men and his preparations were complete. " Tell the Amir 
Sher Muhammad," he said to the envoys who had brought 
the insolent message, " that if he chooses to surrender him- 
self a prisoner when I march to attack him to-morrow at 
the head of my army, without any other conditions than that 
his life shall be safe, I will receive him." 

On the morning of battle, when the British troops were 
drawn up in line, a messenger reached the General with des- 
patches from Lord Ellenborough. All posts had been inter- 
cepted for two months. With an eager hand the general 
broke the seals, and read the heart-stirring words in which 
the Governor- General expressed his thanks to the army for its 
past conduct, and the victory at Miani, and assured them 
that honour and rewards would wait on that great battle. 
Instantly the general made known the despatches to his men, 
and a great shout rose up to heaven of pride and exultation, 
and of honour for the leader who had not forgotten to name 
the private as well as the ofiicer to the Government whom 
they all served. The shout was the cry of victory, and each 
man's heart was full as he marched to meet the foe. 

The army marched ten miles and came upon the enemy at 
eight o'clock in the morning near the village of Dabba, not far 


from Micini ; but the action that followed is generally known 
^s the battle of Hydarabad. The attack was instantly com- 
menced by the artillery on the British left ; and on the 
enemy's side there was a rush of men from their left to 
strengthen their right wing that was thus menaced. Napier's 
cavalry was on his right, and he suddenly perceived 
them dashing full speed against the enemy opposite them, 
w^hose movement towards the centre they had taken to 
be a flight. The advance at that moment was in entire 
disregard of Napier's plan. He gallopped off to stop it ; 
but it was too late to remedy the error, and he resolved to 
utilise it. After watching the cavalry for a moment careering 
wildly against the foe, whirling their swords above their heads 
and pealing their war cries, he turned back to his own left, 
put himself in the front of his foremost ranks, and in a clear 
high-pitched voice gave the word to charge. The bank 
before them was steeper than that of Miani, but the fiery 
soldiers were over it in a moment, and w^ith a mighty 
cheer leaped into the midst of the swordsmen. For three 
hours the battle raged desperately^ but at last the enemy 
were driven back, their infantry fighting valiantly to the 
last. Their cavalry were less plucky, and were pursued by 
the Bengal and Puna horse for several miles into the desert. 
The number of killed and w^ounded on either side were 
much the same us at Miani. 

With Sir Charles Napier, nothing was done while anything 
remained to be done. The dreadful heat was daily increas- 
ing. Sher Muhammad had still a force of four to one, and 
he had two fortified towiis Mirpur and Umarkot on which to 
fall back. Mirpur was forty miles from the field of battle. 
The next day the Puna horse were at its gates, which were 
opened by the Sindis, who w^elcomel their deliverers from the 


Beluchi yoke. Sher Muhammad had fled from Hydarabad to 
Mirpur. He now fled on to Umarkot. He was not left 
undisturbed there. Within ten days after the battle, Umarkot 
was reduced and garrisoned by a British detachment, though 
one hundred miles distant in the heart of the desert. The 
exertions required to effect this were indescribable, but Sher 
Muhammad again anticipated the arrival of the troops and 
fled into the desert. On the 3rd of April Sir Charles 
Napier marched back into Hydarabad master of Sind, having 
in a short campaign fought two such battles as are without 
parallel in the history of the Bombay Presidency. 

Lord Ellenborough annexed Sind, and made Sir Charles 
Napier Governor, independent of the Presidencies and respon* 
sible only to himself. He was instructed to abolish slavery 
and ameliorate the condition of the people as far as possible. 
The captive Amirs, eleven in number, were transferred to 
Bombay. The highest rewards and honours were liberally 
apportioned by Lord Ellenborough to all who had shared 
in the arduous campaign. Outram considered the final 
attack on the Amirs inexcusable and declined to receive 
his share of prize-money. The Kyrpur family, on account 
of the loyalty of Ali Murad to the British, were confirmed 
in possession of a considerable portion of territory as 
a dependent state. Ali Murad himself, whose conduct 
has been stigmatised as base and treacherous to his own 
people in the highest degree, was subsequently convicted 
of perjury and forgery, and was punished for his offences; 
but the punishment has been condoned and he still lives in 
Upper Sind. Sher Muhammad was pursued relentlessly till 
June, when the remnant of his forces were dispersed by 
Jacob and his Sind horse, and the Amir fled into Beluchistan 
with only ten followers. " We have taught the Beluchi," 


said the general, "that neither his sun, nor his desert, nor his 
jungles, nor his nullahs can stop us ; and he will never face us 

The policy of Lord Ellenborough and the exploits of Sir 
Charles Napier were vindicated and accepted by the sovereign 
and both Houses of Parliament. Whatever be the in- 
justice of Lord Auckland — who coerced the Amirs for the 
purpose of his Afghan war and compelled them to sign 
treaties which destroyed their independence — Lord Ellen- 
borough had no choice when, after acquiescing in the treaties 
for three years, the Amirs proceeded to violate them 
and prepared to drive the Enghsh troops out of the 
land. He was compelled for the safety of the empire to 
punish the transgression of the treaties and impose new con- 
ditions. After every kind of evasion, the Amirs signed the new 
treaty only to tear it in pieces as soon as it was signed, and 
attack the British troops, not in despair, but in every con- 
fidence of destroying them. Sind had to be conquered. The 
only people who have suffered for it are the Amirs and their 
Beluchi retainers. The peaceable Sindi population have not 
lost, but immeasurably gained. Sind did not long continue 
a separate province. The Bengal sepoys strongly disliked 
garrisoning the valley of the Lidus, and the task was handed 
over to troops from Bombay, and Sind became part of that 

But while the Bombay Marathas had been loyal and quiet 
during the warfare in Sind and Kabul, the same could not be 
said for Sindia's state at Gwalior. J/mkoji Rao Sindia had 
died without a male heir, and the usual course of intrigue 
and rivalry ensued. The Queen-mother dismissed the regent 
who had been recognised by the Governor-General. This 
was an insult to British authority and the resident left the 


court. The affairs of the state fell into unutterable con- 
fusion, and the regent, who was supported by the army, 
showed a defiant attitude to the British Government. The 
Sikhs of the Panjab were plotting with the men of Gw/ilior; 
^nd Lord Ellenborough, after earnest remonstrances, in which 
he stated that the friendly intercourse which had existed for 
forty years with the house of Sindia could not be allowed 
to be interrupted, led an army to Gwalior. The Mardthas 
attacked the English at Mah-irajpur, but were defeated, 
:after a desperate battle, by Sir Hugh Gough ; the British loss 
being nearly 800. On the same day at Panniar, twelve 
miles off, another Maratha army was defeated by Colonel 
Grey. The Queen-mother was deprived of her regency. The 
splendid army, which had been disciplined by De Boigne, 
was reduced to 9,000 men, and a contingent placed in the 
charge of British officers, a certain amount of territory being 
ceded for its maintenance. Lord EUenborough's prompt 
^action against the rebellious army of Gwalior was the 
salvation of that State. It prevented a coalition with the 
Sikhs of the Panjab, w^hose enmity towards the English was 
ceasing to be a matter of doubt (1843). 

Besides Sind, Lord EUenborough's rule brought another 
small addition to the Bombay Presidency. In December 
1838 died liaghoji Angria, the descendant of the pirate 
princes of Kolaba. The family had learnt nothing since 
Lord Olive battered down the walls of Gheria, and the 
cruelty and oppression of Baghoji was such that his people 
remembered his rule as that of Angarak, or Mars, the planet 
of evil influence. A posthumous son was born to him, who 
died in 1840, and the legitimate line of the Angria family 
became extinct. The KoUiba State was annexed and at first 
administered as an agency, and afterwards formed into ths 


Kolaba district. In the island of Underi (Henery) there was 
found a loathsome dungeon in which were confined twentj^-four 
prisoners m the most abject misery. They had been denied 
water except for drinking. They were loaded with fetters, 
and covered with filth and disease. They had been impri- 
soned for from three to twenty years. No term of imprison- 
ment had been fixed, and no one knew what oifences had been 
committed. They were of course set free. 

An expedition was also needed against the state of Kolha- 
pur. In 1817 the reigning prince had cordially aided the 
British Government. His successor Bawa Sahib was a typi- 
cal eastern tyrant and more than once the Bombay Govern- 
ment had to interfere with force. This Raja died in 1842 
leaving two sons, both children. The misrule became so 
intolerable that the British authorities assumed the manage- 
ment of the state, and a native minister was appointed under 
the control of the Political Agent at Belgaum. Many re- 
forms were at once introduced, including the abolition of the 
hereditary garrisons of the strong forts of the state. These 
measures were resented, and m 1844 an insurrection took 
place in which the Sawantwari people joined. So serious 
was it that it took a force of 10,000 men under Outram to 
quell the disturbances above and below the Ghats. The fort 
of Pamilla was bombarded and taken, and part of the fortifica- 
tions demolished. A separate Political Superintendent was 
then appointed for Kolhapur. 


( 322 ) 


IN July 1844 Lord Ellenboroiigh was succeeded by Sir 
Henry, afterwards Lord Hardinge, who reduced the 
armies of the Panjab in the first Sikh war. Indian politics 
centred without Bombay, and the general development of the 
Western Presidency continued without any specially notice- 
able events. There was some trouble in 1845 with the warlike 
Kolis of the Ghats, and an outlaw named Raghoji Bhdngria, 
of Nasik, wandered through the Nasik and Ahmadnagar 
districts robbing and mutilating the moneyed classes. The 
country was in terror of his name, but the police pursued 
him with such vigour that he broke up his band and dis- 
appeared. He was not himself captured till 1847, when 
Lieutenant (afterwards General) Gell caught him at Pandhar- 
pur. He had been guilty of several murders and he paid the 
penalty on the gallows. 

In !March 1848 Lord Hardinge returned to England, and 
Lord Dalhousie succeeded to his post. The second Sikh war 
soon took place ; the army of the Khalsa invading British 
territory, the Panjab was again conquered andthis time annexed 
by the proclamation of March 29th 1849. Another addition 
was also made to Bombay. At the close of the Maratha war 
of 1*817 Lord Hastings had placed on the throne of Satara,out 


•of sympathy for native feeling, the powerless descendant of 
Shiwaji. The Raja thus set up by the English had plotted 
against those to whom he owed everything and was sent to 
reside at Banaras. His successor died without issue in April 
1848. As he lay on his death-bed he adopted a boy, who though 
•distantly connected with him, had no direct claim to the succes- 
sion of the state. That the boy by Hindu law could become 
heir to the Il.ija's private property and perform the necessary 
ceremonies for the dead there was no manner of doubt. But 
the state was of English creation, and it was argued that the 
Raja had no right to adopt an heir to the throne without the 
consent of the paramount power. Consent had neither been 
obtained nor asked, and Lord Dalhousie held that the state 
in consequence lapsed to the Biitisli crown. The theory 
was no creation of Lord Dalhousie's. Under the Moghal 
empire, viceroys who had carved out in all else an abso- 
lute independence, invariably obtained from the suzerain 
sanction to adoption and succession. Apart from the 
abstract question of right to annex the state its expediency 
was unmistakable. The Raja had created no enthusiasm 
amongst the people of the Deccan ; and they were not likely 
to trouble themselves any more about a boy adopted from a 
distant family to keep up an empty name. It was altogether 
beneficial for the Marathas of Satara that they should 
come under a rule which had done so much for the rest of 
their countrymen. Two succeeding Governors of Bombay, 
Lord Falkland and Sir George Clerk, argued that the adoption 
could only be considered applicable to the personal property ; 
and Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Willoughby, a member of 
the Bombay Council, reviewed the whole subject in an 
exhaustive minute. Lord Dalhousie's opinion coincided with 
that of Bombay- ''The Government," he remarked, "on 


such occasions is bound to act with the purest integrity and 
the most scrupulous good faith. Whenever a shadow of 
doubt can be shown the claim should at once be abandoned ^ 
but when the right to territory by lapse is clear, the Govern- 
ment is bound to take that which is legally and justly its 
due, and to extend to that territory the benefit of our 
sovereignty present and prospective." The question was- 
referred to the Court of Directors. On January 24th 1849, 
the Court, which was supported by the Board of Control, wrote 
as follows :—'* By the general law and custom of India a 
dependent principality, like that of Satara, cannot pass to 
an adopted heir without the consent of the paramount 
power. We are under no pledge, direct or constructive, to 
give such a consent ; and the general interests confided to 
our charge are best consulted by withholding it." In accord- 
ance with this opinion Satara was annexed. While the royal 
line of Shiwaji thus came to an end that of the Peshwa was 
soon to follow. Baji Rao had been sent to Bithur, near Cawn- 
pore, on a magnificent pension of ^80,000 a year. In 1853 he 
died childless, having adopted as an heir Dhondu Pant, the 
infamous Nana Sahib of the future massacres of English 
women and children at Cawnpore. Dhondu Pant inherited 
the personal property of Baji Rao, whose private hoards w^re 
acknowledged to be more than a quarter of a million sterling, 
and were proved to exceed half a million. In addition to 
this private property, Nana Sahib received the town and 
territory of Bithur for his lifetime. But he regarded him- 
self as one of the most injured of mankind, because the 
Government would not continue to him the absurdly lavish 
pension which Sir John Malcolm had obtained for Baji Rao. 
He in vain besieged the Indian Government with his com- 
plaints, and when that plan failed he sent an agent to 


London to obtain redress for liis wrongs. The mission was, 
^)f course, futile ; but the rejection of his claims led to un- 
expected consequences. 

Such were Lord Dalhousie's actions in affairs that con- 
cerned Bombay. In other parts of India he acted with no 
less decision. The Panjab had been annexed. A fresh 
xjession of territory in Barar was made by the Nizam — in 
Avhose dominions law, justice, and government had degenerated 
into the merest farce — in payment of accumulated debts to the 
•Oovernment of India on account of the contingent force and 
to provide for the maintenance of that force in future. In 
Madras, the Nawdb of the Carnatic dying childless, his family 
was provided for ; but, as at Satara, the sovereignty, nominal 
as it long had been, came to an end. The states of Jhansi 
4ind of Nagpur, the seat of the Raja descended from Raghoji 
Bhonsle, lapsed to the Government for w^ant of heirs ; and 
-tired out with the monstrous abuses in the kingdom of Oudh, 
Lord Dalhousie annexed that country to the British Govern- 
ment. Another Burmese war ended in the dethronement of 
the king and annexation of a large part of his territory. 

On the 6th of March, 1856, Lord Dalhousie sailed from 
India after recording a celebrated minute as to the events of 
his term of office. He left India with the full assurance that 
it was in a state of profound and, as he hoped, lasting tran- 
•quillit^^ lie was only forty-four years old, and toil had so 
told on a frame naturally weak that he lived but four years 
longer. Throughout his career he had laboured incessantly 
for the bettering of all classes and all ranks in India. The 
rule of native princes, if the expression can be legitimately 
applied to lawlessness and anarchy, was miserably bad. He 
was determined that the British Government should not con- 
tinue responsible for the upholding of this misgovernment 


and tyranny ; and therefore naturally concluded that the 
only way to increase the happiness of oppressed millions 
was to extend the hlessings of British rule. An article in 
the London Times ably summed up what he had done. 
"He, Lord Dalhousie, could point to railways planned on 
an enormous scale, and partly constructed; to 4,000 miles 
of electric telegraph spread over India, at an expense of 
little over ^50 a mile ; to 2,000 miles of road bridged and 
metalled, nearly the whole distance from Calcutta to Pesha- 
war ; to the opening of the Ganges Canal, the longest of its 
kind in the world ; to the progress of the Panji'ib Canals, and 
of many other important works of irrigation all over Lidia, as 
well as to the reorganization of an official department of public- 
works. Keeping equal pace with these public works, he could 
refer to the postal system which he introduced in imitation of 
that of Rowland Hill, whereby a letter from Peshawar to Cape 
Comorin, or from Assam to Kurrachee, is conveyed for three 
farthings, or one-sixteenth of the old charge ; to the improved 
training for the Civil Service, Covenanted and Uncovenanted ; 
to the improvement of .education and prison discipline; to 
the organization of the Legislative Council, to the reforms 
which it had decreed — such as permitting Hindoo widows to 
marry again, and relieving all persons from the risk of 
Ibrfeiling property by a change of religion. Many more 
items might be added to the list, were it necessary, to prove 
the largeness and benevolence of the views of this great states- 
man ; and there is no doubt from his recorded opinion^, that 
the annexation measures so bitterly urged against him, were 
founded on the conviction that in effecting them he had 
relieved millions from the. irregularities and oppressions of 
native governments, and secured for them the })rospective 
advantages of protection and peace. No one can record, for 


few know, of his daily toil, or how, with a delicate frame, 
he overcame it ; toil which overworked and destroyed his 
physical powers, and in 1860 sent him to his grave. *I 
have played my part/ he said sadly, in reply to an address 
from the people of Calcutta, 'and while I feel that in my 
case the principal act in the drama of my life is ended, I 
shall be content if the curtain should now drop on my puhhc 

( 32S ) 


WHEN Lord Canning succeeded Lord Dalliousie as 
Governor-General, the British army in India con- 
sisted of 45,000 European troops and 235,000 sepoys — that 
is, a proportion of about one-fifth. And in all the battles 
which the English had won in India, the proportion of sepoys 
to white troops had been about the same. The discipline, 
which proved so irresistible against undisciplined hordes of 
Asiatics when it was confined to Europeans, was just as 
efficacious when imparted to native troops. An eminent 
Professor* has therefore argued that our conquest of India 
is a misnomer. The theory which attributed our successes 
to any superiority of race is now repudiated. Nay more, 
according to the same authority, our English writers in de- 
scribing the English battles in India seem unable to discern 
the sepoys. The assertion is astounding. From Macaulay's 
description of the siege of Arcot to Lord Tennyson's siege of 
Lucknow ; at Assaye, Khirki, Miani and Hydarabad, histo- 
rians delight to record the exploits of the sepoys who 
fought side by side with their European brethren. But the 
difference of the conquerors and conquered, if there were any 
conquered, is said to lie more in discipline and military 
science than in difference of race. The English undoubtedly 
rule India. But the process by which they attained this 

* Professor Sccley, *' Expansion of England." 


proud position was not the conquest of one state by another ; 
it was merely an internal revolution in Indian society, 
•and is to be compared to one of those sudden usurpations, or 
€OUps d'etat, by which a period of disturbance within a com- 
munity is closed. We may suppose, we are told, that a 
number of Parsee merchants in Bombay, tired of the 
•anarchy which disturbed their trade, had subscribed together 
to estabhsh fortresses and raise troops, and then that they 
had had the good fortune to employ able generals. In that 
case, it is said, they too might have had their Plassey and 
their Buxar ; they too might have extorted from the great 
Mogul the dewannee or financial administration of a pro- 
vince, and so laid the foundation of an empire which might 
in time have extended over all India. Parsees are most 
loyal and exemplary subjects of the Empress of India, but 
the idea of their merchants trading in a hostile country with 
their sword in one hand and ledger in the other, and leading 
sepoy battalions to victory against overwhelming numbers 
involves an unique power of imagination. In fine, the 
natives of India were quite capable of receiving European 
discipline, and learning to fight with European efficiency. 
This then was the talisman which the Company possessed, 
and which enabled it not merely to hold its own among the 
powers of India, but to surpass them— not some incommu- 
nicable physical or moral superiority, as we love to imagine — 
but a superior discipline and military system, which could be 
communicated to the natives of India. 

The contention is wholly false. England did conquer 
India, or the various powers that occupied the Indian Penin- 
sula, in a series of operations that lasted a century. She 
conquered it, not by that which she could impart to another 
race, but by that which could not be imparted. She con- 


quered India by downright hard fighting against enormous^ 
odds. True, the king of England did not declare war upon any 
Nawab or Raja in India. But England happened to be repre- 
sented, not by the king, but by the East India Company, and 
the Company did declare war against both Nawabs and Rajas, 
though it was generally spared the necessity by Nawabs and 
Rajas making war upon its armies. But India was conquered 
by Indians in English pay, just as though at Waterloo 
the Duke of Wellington led bands of Frenchmen against 
Napoleon. Again the view is incorrect. There is no India 
as there is a France ; and when Clive led his Madras sepoys at 
Plassey and Napier his Marathas at Miani, the sepoys were as 
much foreigners to the enemy as the English themselves. It 
would be idle to discuss the subject further. The English did 
conquer India, and not solely or in chief part by a superior 
military system, but by stout hearts and strong arms, and a 
refusal to acknowledge that they were ever beaten. The 
military discpline was an admirable, nay an indispensable 
means to the end ; but the means without the instrument 
were vain ; the letter only, not the spirit, could be imparted 
to the natives of India. The brain that could create was^ 
even more powerful than the brain that could merely receive 
and imitate ; the skill that could repair the machinery 
more valuable than the mere rule-of-thumb knowledge that 
could put it in motion or stop it when the works were m 
perfect order. The race with whom military tactics and 
formations were only the instrument by which the mind that 
directed them worked its will, could not but prevail over 
adversaries who looked on military evolutions as possessing^ 
in themselves an inherent and all-sufficing virtue. 

x\lready, in wild Maratha battles, the British troops had 
fought against soldiers disciplined by the skill and genius of 


Frenchmen ; in the crowning struggle of all, in which the 
hundred years' conquest had to be well-nigh all done over 
again, they were to contend with the sepoy troops whom 
they had themselves taught, trained, and led to victory ; 
troops who possessed to the full the talisman of discipline and 
military system by which it is stated the Company surpassed 
the native powers of India, and which would have been na 
less efficacious in the hands of Parsees. 

The Duke of Wellington was of a very different opinion. 
''The English soldiers," he wrote, ''are the main foundation 
of British power in iVsia. They are a body with habits, 
manners and qualities peculiar to them in the East Indies. 
Bravery is the characteristic of the British army in all 
quarters of the world ; but no other quarter has afforded 
such striking examples of the existence of this quality in 
the soldiers as the East Indies. Those particularly who 
have been for some time in the country, cannot be ordered 
upon any service, however dangerous or arduous, that they 
will not eifect, not only with bravery, but with a degree of 
skill not often witnessed in persons of their description in 
other parts of the world. I attribute their qualities, which 
are peculiar to them in the East Indies, to the distinctness- 
of their class in that country from all others existing in it. 
They feel that they are a distinct and superior class to the 
rest of the world which surrounds them ; and their actions 
correspond with their high notions of their own superiority^ 
Add to these qualities that their bodies are inured to climate,, 
hardship and fatigue — by long residence, habit and exercise — 
to such a degree, that I have seen them for years together 
in the field without suffering any material sickness ; that I 
have made them march sixty miles in thirty hours, and 
afterwards engage the enemy ; and it will not be surprising 


that they are respected as they are throughout India. Their 
weaknesses and their vices, however repugnant to the feelings 
and prejudices of the natives, are passed over in the contem- 
plation of their excellent qualities as soldiers, of which no 
nation has hitherto given such extraordinary instances. 
These qualities are the foundation of the British strength in 
Asia and of that opinion hy which it is generally supposed 
that the British empire has been gained and upheld. These 
<]ualities show in what manner nations consisting of millions 
are governed by 30,000 strangers." 

The great storm that burst over India in 1857 at first con- 
fined itself to Bengal ; and the awful tragedies, the work of 
rengeance, and the final victories occurred beyond the limits 
of Bombay. But the tail of the storm spread to the 
Western Presidency, and Bombay armies won mighty victo- 
ries over the insurgents in Central India, and the causes that 
led up to the mutiny must be told here. 

These causes were extremely manifold and complex. It is 
impossible to this day to mention any one particular event 
which prepared the conflagration, or the absence of which 
would have prevented it. That the affair of the greased 
cartridges caused the mutiny is true in no sense whatever. 
That it was the spark which kindled the mine that was 
already laid, and whose explosion was only a question of 
time, there can be no manner of doubt. 

. The Government of India had grown up in the form of 
three Presidencies, and with this disposition of the civil power, 
there had arisen the three separate armies of Bengal, 
Bombay, and Madras. Of the 45,000 European troops in 
India, some 10,000 were soldiers enlisted by the Company 
for its local European regiments of Bengal, Bombay, and 
Madras Fusiliers, who had nothing to do with the Queen's 


army. The native armies, each under its own commander- 
in-chief, differed widely in their constitution and discipHne. 
The Bengal army was composed for the most part of 
Brahmans and other high-caste men, while in the other 
armies men of lower castes predominated. The sepoys of 
Bengal generally left their wives in their native villages ; 
while in the remaining armies their families were carried 
about with them, and formed a very weighty guarantee for 
their good behaviour. But the high-caste men of Oudh and 
the North-West who filled the ranks of the Bengal army, 
ready as they were to face any danger, were above the 
humble duties of the soldier, while their brother sepoys of 
Bombay and Madras, for whom they had no little disdain, were 
altogether more amenable to discipline. In the early days of 
the sepoy army, natives of good family were cho&en as officers 
and trusted with a large amount of authority which their 
birth and habits of command enabled them to wield. Their 
position was honourable, their self-respect assured ; native 
officers and privates alike regarded with a devoted enthusiasm 
their European officers who led them to a succession of vic- 
tories and respected their caste and religion. But even from 
the first, incidents occurred which showed how delicate was the 
link that bound the sepoy army to its masters. Seven years 
after Plassey five Bengal battalions were discontented with 
their share of prize-money. They showed a threatening attitude 
and received their claims ; but they had learnt their strength, • 
and a few months later the oldest regiment broke out into 
open mutiny. The ringleaders were blown from guns and 
the battalions taught a severe but salutary lesson ; the 
number of Enghsh officers with each regiment was increased, 
and the real power gradually concentrated in their hands. 
But for many years the command of a native regiment was 


a coveted appointment, and picked men were chosen for the 
posts who could keep their men in hand by fear as well as 
by love. In 1796 there was a further change in the organiza- 
tion. It was a legitimate source of complaint of the veteran 
officers of the Company that they were superseded and 
passed over by younger men from the regiments of the 
King's as opposed to the Company's army. In order to 
remove this grievance, one regiment was formed out of each 
two battalions of sepoys, the number of officers assimilated 
to that of the king's regiments, and all took rank by the 
date of their commissions. The system of promotion by 
merit undoubtedly gives rise to occasional jobbery ; but still 
the best man will, as a rule, come to the front, while in the 
seniority system he is weighed down by an unbending rule 
which reduces all to a dead level of equality. Thus the 
command of regiments often fell into the hands of men 
unfitted for the task ; and the decrease in the number of 
native officers lowered the position of those who remained. 
The doors of ambition were closed to the sepoy, be he a rival 
of Eydar Ali in military genius. And at the present day, it 
may be said, that while the position of the Hindus is on an 
infinitely higher level under the English than under Akbar 
himself, that one prospect of high military command, which 
he trusted to them, is now absolutely precluded, ^yilh the 
new organization the sepoy found that the pay of a 
boy ensign, just from England, was higher than that 
of a subadAr who had served the Company faithfully for 
thirty years. Still they were flushed with victory, and had 
not at first leisure to brood over their grievances. But in 
Madras that leisure came with the destruction of Mysur ; 
and while the ties of personal devotion which bound the 
sepoys to their officers were weakened, the evil star of that 


overrated statesman Lord William Bentinck, who was then 
<jrovernor of Fort St. George, prompted him to sanction, if 
he did not originate, some ridiculous orders which interfered 
ivith the sepoys* religious prejudices. They were forbidden 
to appear on parade with caste-marks or earrings ; they 
were to shave off their cherished beards, regulate the length 
of their moustaches, and exchange their old turbans for 
•leather cockades, which resembled that object of aversion to 
Orientals the European hat. The leather, made of skins of 
hogs or cows, was abominable to them ; the likeness of the 
hats to that of Christians not unnaturally made them believe 
that the change was a preliminary to forcible conversion. 
What had been done by Aurangzib, Tipu, and the Portuguese 
was not impossible from the English. Dispirited by their 
grievances, they were ready to believe anything against their 
rulers ; they gave a ready ear to the tales of religious fanatics 
who went about the country and told them of the intolerant 
fanaticism of their conquerors. In Ceylon, they were told, 
the general had already marched his whole corps to church 
parade, and they believed that a like fate would soon be 
theirs. At Vellore was the residence of the pensioned family 
of Tipu who, state prisoners as they were, still hoped for 
their restoration to their father's dynasty. Here were the 
very means to their hands. It is probable that they excited 
the sepoys to mutiny; that they encouraged their plans, when 
once formed, is certain. They ridiculed the European appear- 
ance of the sepoys, and assured them they would soon have 
to receive the baptism. The consequence w^as a horrible out- 
burst at Vellore, which involved the slaughter of the Euro- 
pean garrison when they were asleep ; and symptons appeared 
at other places. The mutiny was promptly suppressed 
and a terrible vengeance accomplished. Lord William 


Beutinck managed to quell the storm that he had raised, and 
persuade the native soldiery that the Government had nO' 
thought of interfering with their religion ; and the Directors, 
after recalling the Governor, placed on record a stringent 
censure of the new generation of commanding officers who had 
not, like their predecessors, won the confidence of their men. 
This part of the lesson was taken to heart, and the advan« 
tages of a sepoy's career, under officers who were proud to- 
command him and who treated him with paternal kindness, 
were sufficient to tempt a steady supply of good men. The 
sepoy received regular pay, an advantage unknown in native 
states ; he retired on a comfortable pension, where a native 
ruler would let him die in a ditch. He was still a great man 
in his own family, and he had, what amongst a litigious 
people was no small privilege, the right of being heard in 
our courts before other suitors. And a series of victorious 
campaigns, in which he fought side by side with his- 
European comrade, identified him in no slight degree 
with the conquering race. But the successful cam- 
paigns brought accession of territory, and able men 
were needed to manage the new acquisitions. Thus the 
ablest officers were drafted from the regiments to act 
as political agents and fill other important and lucrative 
posts ; and again the sepoys were quick to see that the for- 
tune of the officers that left the regiments was envied by 
those who remained. A growing tendency to reduce every- 
thing to rules was also springing up, and the paternal and 
patriarchal power which a colonel possessed was interfered 
with by a system which centralised military authority at 
head-quarters, and frequently reversed the decisions of regi- 
mental officers. The sepoy was naturally the very last man 
to mutiny. He entered the army with no rights of his 


own ; he was ready to reverence his colonel as an absolute 
ruler. But written law, as opposed to personal rule, was 
unintelh'gible to him ; and when he heard of the articles of 
war framed in a way which seemed to expect him to break 
them, and when he learnt the subordination of his colonel 
to head- quarters in every petty matter, the spell that bound 
him was broken. And so when the order came to cross the 
" Black Water " to Burma it came to hearts that were already 
hardened. Under any circumstances the order would have 
been distasteful. To cross the sea was against the rules of 
the higher castes, and of the powers of Burmese magic they 
had heard strange stories. An exaggerated account of a 
reverse to some regiments which had already arrived at 
Burma was credulously swallowed. Three regiments refused 
to parade for inspection in marching order before proceeding 
on the voyage. Sir Edward Paget, the Commander-in-Chief, 
knew that leniency in mutiny means cruelty ; that to spare 
n few lives is to lose many. The sepoys were forced on to 
the parade-ground, and told to choose between marching or 
grounding their arms. They refused to do either. Instantly 
the artillery opened fire upon them with grape-shot ; numbers 
fell dead, and the rest fled. The 47th Regiment was disbanded, 
the offence of the other two condoned. The lesson was taken 
to heart, and for years none dared to mutiny'. 

Lord William Bentinck had done enough harm at Madras. 
He was to do more as Governor-General, He bitterly of- 
fended and aggrieved officers of all ranks by depriving them 
of a portion of their allowances. In Lord Clive's time such 
a step was followed by mutiny. To Lord William Bentinck 
the officers sent a temperate statement of their grievances, 
which, except in the case of those near Calcutta, was 
ignored. The futility of the officers' resistance gave another 


blow to their weakened authority over their men. Not 
content with this, Lord WilHam Bentinek abohshed corporal 
punishment in the army in defiance of universal military 
opinion. The native officers, who had all risen from the 
ranks, were vehemently against it. Well-behaved men had 
nothing to fear from flogging, the black sheep, who must 
exist in every regiment, only suffered the punishment if they 
deserved it. If flogging was abolished, the native officers 
said, the army will no longer fear and there will be a mutiny. 
Orientals are excellent judges of their own character. They 
have a very wholesome regard for fear, and severity based on 
justness. Of flabbid humanitarianism they have but one 
opinion, and that is that it proceeds from weakness. 

Then came the Afghan war and its terrible disaster. Here 
were the ever- victorious soldiers of their masters forgetting 
that they were British troops, and a whole army capitulating 
to barbarians. True, the glorious victories that followed over 
the Amirs of Sind, the rebellious army of Gwalior, and the 
Sikhs of the Panjab might well be regarded as more 
than sufficient to restore the honour of the British arms 
to its pristine splendour, but the possibility of a British 
army bowing down before an Asiatic foe was a matter 
within their actual experience. More than this, they had 
never received with good grace the orders that sent them 
beyond the Indus. For the gloomy defiles and barren 
mountains of Afghanistan they felt an invincible repugnance. 
Their hearts burned with indignation against their masters 
who had led them to defeat in this unknown land, where the 
bodies of their kinsmen lay unburnt and unburied, food for 
vultures and beasts of prey, with none to perform funeral 
rights for the repose of their souls. When Nott and Pollock 
led the avenging army against Kabul, several regiments refused 


point blank to enter the dreaded passage of the Khyber Pass, 
and it was with the utmost difficulty that the mutiny was 
quelled. Again, as Sind and the Panjab were annexed to our 
dominions, new difficulties cropped up. To the sepoy mind 
the lands beyond the Indus were a foreign country, to garri- 
son which meant for him banishment to distant and often 
unhealthy places. In a foreign land he was accustomed to 
receive extra allowances to encourage him to light the battles 
of his Government ; the annexed countries were no longer 
foreign, and the extra allowances ceased. When ordered 
to take their turn of duty in Sind as an ordinary province 
of India, the 14th Bengal Native Infantry, the 34th and 
the Cist, the 7th Cavalry, and some artillery mutinied ; 
and the insubordination gained its object, for Bombay troops 
were sent to Sind. With Madras troops Sind was no more 
popular, and under the dread of being sent there and to Kabul 
regiments at Sikandarabad, Ncigpur, and other places were 
within measurable distance of mutiny. But there was as 
yet no general conspiracy, and an inconsistent policy 
of punishment and concession was held sufficient to deal 
with the matter. Of the frightful seriousness of the evil 
it cannot be said that the Government was not warned. 
Sir Charles Napier succeeded Lord Gough as Commander- 
in-Chief of India, and feeling convinced that the native army 
was in a state of covert mutiny and treachery, he lost no 
opportunity of impressing his views upon Lord Dalhousie. 
Napier had failed in Sind to work in harmony with Outram. 
He failed equally to do so with Lord Dalhousie. Both he 
and the Governor-General were men of commanding minds 
not unapt to resent advice or interference ; and his argu- 
ments failed to take effect. Napier's service had been with 
the Bombay army, which had a stricter internal discipline 


than that of Bengal. In the Sikh wars the Bombay sepoys 
were taunted by the high-caste Brahmans of the Bengal army 
with performing ordinary duties which had never been im- 
posed upon them. This did not escape Napier's eye. But it 
was the difficulty about the pay that for the time was more 
pressing than that of caste. Four regiments refused to ac- 
cept the reduced rates, and many soldiers were tried and 
punished. The 66th Bengal Native Infantry, which partially 
mutinied, was disbanded, and a Gurkha regiment of Nepal 
Highlanders raised in its place. Sir Charles Napier, on his 
own responsibility, raised the pay of the army in the Panjab ; 
but an acrimonious correspondence ensued between him and 
Lord Dalhousie, and Napier resigned his appointment de- 
termined not to be a passive spectator of the ills that he 
foretold. His opinion may have been exaggerated when he re- 
ported to Lord Dalhousie that twenty- four regiments were 
only waiting an opportunity to rise, but the disaffection of the 
Bengal army was a notorious fact. As Napier said, to pamper 
high-caste is to encourage mutiny, and in Bengal it was encour- 
aged to a dangerous extent. It was not that in the other armies 
the sepoys were free from caste prejudices, but they were 
not given into. Even in Bengnl the caste was not especially 
obtruded, except when the spoilt sepoys found it could be 
used as an instrument by which they could exaggerate theii- 
own importance or gain their particular ends. Lord Dalhousie 
may, indeed, be blamed for not going to the root of the 
matter. But in his busy reign he had a multitude of weighty 
tasks to do that engrossed the whole of his time; and, while 
the very existence of the evil was denied by many whose 
position entitled their opinion ' to deference, those who re- 
cognised the disease proposed diametrically opposite schemes 
for effecting its cure. 


And while their loyalty was undetermined, the disparity of 
British troops to their own numbers gave them an over- 
weening idea of their own power. Tipu had said that it was 
not what he saw of the English that be feared, but what he did 
not see. That his opinion had been handed down shows that 
it was by no means an ordinary one. The sepoys, unfortunately, 
judged England by what they saw, and of her vast resources 
they had no notion whatever. They believed that the whole 
population of the British Isles amounted to merely a hundred 
thousand souls. Their notions were not likely to be dispelled 
by the action of the Home Government, which withdrew 
two regiments from India for service in the Crimea ; and they 
listened with absolute credulity to stories of the exhaustion 
of England in the Russian war, and the disease and death 
of her soldiers in the trenches at Sebastopol. Nay more, 
with the endless inconsistency of the Oriental mind, Muham- 
madan sepoys exulted in the reported annexation of England 
to Russia, though they believed the war to have been under- 
taken by the Queen of England as a vassal of the Sultan of 
Constantinople. Against the denuding India of British 
troops, when many more were urgently needed to guard the 
new conquests, Lord Dalhousie strenuously protested. But 
his recommendations were not adopted ; and the sepoys, 
inflated with the idea of their own power, were developing 
plans, as yet misty and hazy, of taking the government of 
the country into their own hands. 

But if Lord Dalhousie on sailing from India had no notion 
of the whirlwind that was gathering, there was little likeli- 
hood that Lord Canning should suspect it. He was not a 
weak man, but he was cold and impassive ; and he could not 
bring himself to pass judgement on any question until he had 
scrutinised it and reviewed it from every 'point of view with 


minute carefulness. He wanted the quick insight of the 
general, who on the field of battle could instantaneously note 
and resist each movement of his enemy. But, when he had 
grasped the position, he was keen in judgment and strong in 

The sum of the sepoys' grievances had not yet come. 
Originally they had been enlisted for service in India alone. 
The conquest of Burma, and the difficulties of inducing native 
soldiers to cross the sea, had led to the raising of six regi- 
ments for general service. It happened that soon after Lord 
Canning's arrival none of these were available to relieve 
those whose time of duty at Pegu had expired. Lord Can- 
ning determined to be master of his own army, and in July 
1856 issued an order that in future no recruit should be 
accepted who would not undertake to march wherever he 
might be wanted. High-caste men at once began to shrink 
from entering the service, while old sepoys were full of fear- 
ful surmises that the oaths of new recruits might be binding 
upon themselves. With this new order came another, that 
sepoys declared unfit for foreign service should no longer, as 
of yore, be retired on invalid pensions, but should be ke])t 
on for cantonment duty ; and a privilege, which allowed 
sepoys to send their letters free, was brought to an end upon 
the completion of the new postal regulations. Another 
grievance sprang up from the annexation of Oudh, which was 
a prolific recuiting-ground of the army. Lender Muhamma- 
dan rule, ever}^ complaint of oppression or injustice to the 
family or kindred of an Oudh sepoy was forwarded to the 
British resident at Lucknow and promptly redressed by him. 
This system conferred a valued prestige upon the sepoy as the 
great man of his family ov village. With the introduction 
of British rule, and the concomitant theory of equality of 


persons — so unintelligible to the native of India — the family 
of the sepoy was referred to the ordinary courts ; and the 
sepoy looked on the abrogation of his privilege as a grave 

The sepoys were thus in a mood to believe any lie ; the 
more incredible it might be, the more eagerly would it be 
gulped down. They were to be superseded by a Sikh army 
of 30,000 men. Lord Canning had been specially selected by 
the Queen to convert them all to Christianity, and the 
General Service Enlistment Act was the first step in the 
policy of persecution. Missionaries had been becoming for 
some time past more and more active, and had a year or so 
before published a manifesto foretelling that the new railways 
and steamships were destined to accomplish the spiritual 
union of England and India under one faith. The Com- 
missioner of Patna reported to Government the dangerous 
feelings which this had caused in his division ; a reassuring 
proclamation from the Bengal Government appeared only a 
false statement to hide the suspicions that had been raised. 
Earnest Christian officers unwittingly hurried on the danger 
by preaching the gospel to the men under their command. 
The preposterous notion gained strength by the new law 
which removed legal obstacles to the marriage of Hindu 
widows, and dealt a direct blow to the integrity of their 
religious system. Nor did the sepoys fail to supply a reason 
for the proceedings which they ascribed to Government. Their 
masters intended to take away their caste and make them 
Christians in order that they might eat the strengthen- 
ing beef and drink the commissariat rum of English 
troops ; that they might then embark in ships and go 
forth with renewed vigour on the endless task of conquest. 
And while the whole army was seething with agitation, yet 

344 EibTortY or the Bombay presidency. 

still afraid to strike, the slumbering fires that were to 
bin*st forth into conflagration had spread beyond the sepoy 

The English were availing themselves of all the resources 
which the advance of civilization was placing in their hands. 
The native of India had served many dynasties ; but hitherto 
they had looked on their masters — whether Moghal, Maratha, 
or English — as people who had vast armies and could use 
them as they would. Now they had a new and strange expe- 
rience» The land itself was being bound down in iron bands,, 
over which the fire-chariot sped along at a speed greater 
tlian that of the swiftest Manitha horseman. And the 
lightning posts and wires, set up along the roads, enabled their 
rulers to know in some mysterious way what was happening, 
at a distance of hundreds of miles. On their rivers, ships 
moved against the strongest current without oars or sails. 
That all these devices were new to their rulers they never 
dreamt. Their own power of invention had been dead for 
centuries ; and they believed that the English had kept 
hidden these wonderful resources all these years in order to- 
use them the more effectually when the time had come. A 
yoke was to be fastened upon the land which would never be 
shaken off, which would destroy their ancient customs, their 
caste, and their religion. Everything pointed in the same 
direction. In the Government schools, while their heredi- 
tary faith was not directly assailed, the growing generation 
was filled with a learning which to their parents was new 
and dangerous, and at variance with their time-honoured 
notions. The English were altogether changing, and it 
was impossible to live under their sway. Hitherto the 
priestly caste of Brahmans had held the keys of knowledge. 
But they could no more explain the new contrivances 


than the most ignorant ryot ; their supremacy, as the 
learned class, was threatened ; their implacable jealousy was 

By a strange coincidence, this period of their agitation was 
close to the end of the hundred years \^hicli followed the 
battle of Plassey. By a people, credulous and superstitious 
in the highest degree, the astrologers were implicitly believed 
when they prophesied that the anniversary of Clive's great 
victory would bring to an end the Raj or rule of the Com- 
pany, In the most ordinary affairs of life natives consult the 
astrologers as to a favourable conjunction of the planets ; 
and when it was told them that the year before the end of the 
Company's raj there would be terrible outbursts of cholera and 
flood, and the cholera and floods came, how could they 
doubt the speedy downfall of the English ? 

But even yet the tale of the causes that led up to the 
great tragedy is incomplete. The palace of the Emperor 
Bahadur Shah, at Delhi, was a focus of perpetual intrigue. 
It was also a strategical position of immense value. Lord 
Dalhousie determined that its possession was essential to the 
Indian Government, and he bitterly off*enc!ed the family of 
the emperor by arranging that Bahadur Shah should 
remove his residence to the Kutab, and give up his palace for 
British troops. Action was, however, deferred for the lifetime 
of the aged emperor ; but before his death the last vestige 
of the Moghal empire had ceased to be. Bahadur Shah was 
an old man ; but in the veins of his queen, Zinat Mahal, flowed 
the blood of Nadir Shah, and, inspired by her fiery \vill, the 
princes of the house of Bdbar planned the revival of the 
Muhammadan empire. The princes, on apparently innocent 
pretexts, had been allowed by Government to travel about 
India ; and they journeyed hither and thither securing adherents 


to the throne of Delhi. It was a repetition, very awfully in- 
tensified, of the history of Vellore ; an army saturated with 
treason ; a royal family encouraging and utilising the treason 
to further its own ends. A more powerful monarch joined in 
the fray. In November 1856, an English army had sailed 
from Bombay against the king of Persia, who had molested 
Herat; and Sir James Outram, with the Puna Horse and 3rd 
Bombay Infantry, brought the war to a rapid and successful 
termination. But it added another element to the danger in 
India. The Shah of Persia fomented disaffection in Hindus- 
tan; and a proclamation — whether genuine or not — was posted 
on the walls of Delhi in March 1857, in which he stated that 
a Persian army was coming to expel the English, and called 
on all the Muhammadans to put on their armour and join the 
invaders. The representative of another dynasty, too, was 
wandering about watching the signs of the times, and seeing 
how best he could make his profit out of them. This was 
Dhondu Pant, or Nana Sahib, the adopted son of Baji Rao, 
the last of the Peshwas. But he veiled the bitter resentment 
that he felt at the discontinuance of the enormous pension 
granted to Baji Rao, and mixed freely in English society. 
His agent, Azim Ulla Khan, who had jDleaded his cause in 
London, returned to India after visiting the Crimea, and 
poured into his master's willing ears exaggerated tales of 
England's weakness. 

Early in the year 1857, many Englishmen were warned by 
native friends to be on their guard and, if possible, retire 
from India — at any rate to send away their wives and children. 
Nothing definite was ever stated, and the advice was always 
received with scorn. At the latter end of February a remark- 
able anonymous document was received by Lord Elphinstone, 
nephew of Mouiitstuart Elphinstone and Governor of 


Bombay, containing a solemn announcement of treason, and 
enumerating reasons for a general discontent. One of the 
reasons given was the proceedings of the Commission that 
was investigating the tenures of Imim or rent-free land, and 
showing the harshness and cruelty of their measures. It 
was evidently a well-meant warning. 

Another strange incident occurred in the early months of 
1857. From village to village were passed along chapaties, 
or flat cakes of flour. Their origin has never been discovered, 
nor was the token professedly understood even by the 
natives ; but it may have answered to the sending of the 
Fiery Cross over the Scottish Highlands, and it was at least a 
signal that grave troubles were impending. Week by week, 
as the year wore on, the people of Hindustan were more and 
more carried away by an excitement that was not far removed 
from madness. At one and the same time, they were over- 
powered with fear of the yoke that was being imposed upon 
them, and exulting with triumph at the success that they 
expected to win. It has been said that it was the duty of 
the English to take steps to rid the people of the monstrous 
falsehoods which they accepted as truths. But, on the 
other hand, India is never free from some absurd ideas of the 
kind. In Lord Auckland's time, a rumour spread about Simla 
that the blood of hillmen was wanted to restore him to health, 
and all the coolies on the hill ran away. When the census 
was taken at the beginning of 1881, it was widely believed 
that all the men were to be put in a row and shot, and the 
women sent up to Kabul as wives of English soldiers.* One 

* In 1883, when I was in charge of the police on the Southern 
Mardtha Railway, then being constructed, it was rumoured that 
the English engineers required persons to be buried alive under the 
foundation of the Malaprabha bridge, and natives would not go near 
the river except in bodies and in broad daylight. 


rumour there was, however, more dangerous than all the rest, 
which ought to have heen dealt with at once. The cartridges 
of Enfield rifles, then introduced, were in England greased 
with heef and pork-fat. The order went forth in India that 
they were to he greased in like manner there. But the pig 
is abominated by the Muhammadan, the cow sacred to the 
Hindu. The order brought defilement to both, and it wa& 
proof conclusive to all that the cartridges were the means by 
which the sepoys were to be made Christians, and the 
conversion of the people speedily brought about. In deadly 
fear, the sepoys refused to take the cartridges. Yet such 
is the wonderful inconsistency of the native mind, that the 
cartridges were used without hesitation or thought of defile- 
ment against the English ; conspirators took their seats in 
the trains and sent their messages by the wires that were to 
bind down the countrv in bonds of iron. 

( 349 ) 


THE first mutterings of tlie storm were at Barliampur, 
near Murshidabad. The 19tli Bengal Infantry broke 
into open mutiny on parade ; and, tliongh tlie sepoys were 
restrained from violence, they were marched to Barrackpur, 
near Calcutta, and disbanded. Tlie only effect of this 
measure was to increase the ferment and hasten the evil 

To the story of the greased cartridges was now added the 
more horrifying news that the public wells and the flour 
and butter sold in the markets, in fact, everything had been 
defiled by bone-dust and that the salt had been polluted 
by the blood of swines and cows. Now, to a certain extent, 
but not sufficiently alarmed, Lord Canning issued order 
after order to satisfy the sepoys ; and on the lOtli of May 
he addressed the people at large warning them against false 
reports and denj'ing that any attempt was being made 
to interfere with their caste. It was all useless. The 
documents were looked on as part of the scheme. The 
fever was at its height and the disease must run its course. 
Nothing but a fearful lesson could bring the people to their 
senses ; and yet even in the Bengal Army there were regi- 
ments found faithful to their masters in the hour of need 
and darkness. 

On the 10th of May, the very day of Lord Canning's 
general proclamation, the storm burst in earnest at Mirat. 
It was subsequently discovered that the sepoys had formed 


a plot to rise together on the last day of that month, but 
an accident interfered with their preconcerted plans. On 
the 9th of May some sepoys had been sentenced to 
imprisonment for refusing to use the cartridges. On tlie 
lOthj which was Sunday, at the time of evening-service, 
the native troops released the convicted mutineers and other 
prisoners from the jail, rushed through the station cutting- 
down every European whom they met — man, woman, and 
child. They set fire to the houses; and, to prove the 
definite and widespread nature of the plot, hurried off to 
Delhi. There were European troops at Mirat. The 
imbecility of their commanders allowed them to do nothing, 
not even to pursue the flying sepoys. At Delhi there were 
no European troops ; but there were three native regiments, 
and a magazine with immense stores of powder and 
ammunition in the charge of Lieutenant ^Yilloughby. The 
sepoys joined the mutineers, and the whole city was in an 
uproar. The crowd surged about the magazine, and 
messengers, in the name of Bahadur Shah, Emperor of India, 
demanded its surrender. But Willoughby knew his duty. 
When he and his few comrades could no longer hold out, 
lie gave the command ; the train already prepared for 
the emergency was fired, and with the contents of the 
magazine and its heroic defenders, some fifteen hundred 
rebels were blown into the air. 

It was this premature rising at Mirat that was the 
saving of the English. Instead of a simultaneous throw- 
ing down of the gauntlet, which would have produced a 
crisis well nigh desperate, tliere came a running fire of 
mutinies ; and the telegraph, which Lord Dalhousie's wis- 
dom had spread over the land, warned every station of what 
was happening. Thus more or less preparation could be 


made to ward off the coming blow. But tlie conflagration 
spread from place to place, and tlie same liorrid drama 
was repeated. In station after station, the sepoys 
mutinied, loosed the prisoners from the jails, plundered 
the treasury, murdered the Europeans, and made off to 
Delhi. Treacherous as the sepoys were, their treachery 
was exceeded by that of the princes. At Jhansi, the Rani 
pledged herself by a solemn oath that she would send in 
safety to another station fifty-five Europeans who had 
taken refuge in the fort, but who had no store of food. 
They were to leave the fort two by two, and each couple 
on coming out was murdered. 

It was soon seen that the rebels had no common aim 
or object. There was no master-mind to direct their 
efforts, and their leaders soon began to strive after different 
goals. Muhammadans wished to restore the glories of the 
Great Moghal. Hindu sepoys had no intention of trans- 
ferring toBahcidur Shiili the allegiance that they had with- 
drawn from the English. And Nana Scihib, at Bithur. 
meant to strike a blow for himself and renew the Maratha 
empire of the Peshwas. Had he succeeded, the old story 
would have been repeated, and Tantia Topi, the only 
general that the mutiny produced, would have ruled the 
Peshwa as Nana Farnawis ruled Mahdu Rao Ndrayan. 
Until the beginning of June he kept the sepoys at Cawnpore 
quiet, and was lavish in his professions of friendship to 
the English. At length, on the 4tli of June, the native 
regiments, burst into revolt, and set off on the road to 
Delhi. This by no means fell in wdth Nana Sahib's plans. 
The sepoys already at Delhi would soon bring about the 
collapse of British power; he wanted an army with 
which to seize for himself the throne of which his adoptive 


father had been unjustly deprived. Promising them 
abundant plunder from the cantonments of Cawnpore he 
lured back the regiments that had started for Delhi, and 
on the 6th of June the siege of the British garrison was 
begun. For nineteen days the English, under Sir Hugh 
Wheeler, endured fearful sufferings in a heat that even in 
profound peace, in spite of every comfort, renders life 
■well-nigh unendurable. The numbers of the small garrison 
■were sadly reduced by the enem3^'s incessant fire ; their 
barrack, which formed their hospital, was burnt ; the women 
and children were stricken with fever and starving for want 
of food. Were the men only to be thoaght of, they 
might have cut their way through the enemy. But the 
thought of the suffering women and children induced Sir 
Hugh Wheeler, almost against his better judgement, to 
accept Nana Sahib's offer that he would convey safely to 
Allahabad all who should lay down their arms. On the 
27th the survivors, numbering in all 450, were marched 
down to the boats which had been prepared for them. 
No sooner had they taken their places than a murderous 
fire was opened upon them from the river banks, and the 
thatched roofs of the boats set on fire. The greater 
number were killed or drowned ; but 122 were carried 
back to Nana's house, reserved for a more awful fate. 
Four only escaped to join Havelock's avenging army. 

Nana Sahib now thought that his success was assured. 
He proceeded to Bithur, and had himself proclaimed Peshwa 
with magnificent coronation ceremonies He then returned 
to Cawnpore where the IVIuhammadans were already plot- 
ting against him. Here he gratified his appetite for blood 
by murdering all the men out of a j)arty of fugitives from 
i'atigahr ; and he added the women and children to his 


prisoners, who now numbered over 200. In the mean- 
time, General Havelock was hastening on with strenuous 
exertions from AllahaMd, winning victory after Yictory 
on the road. On the evening of the 15th of July, when 
he had bivouacked for the night, he heard that the prisoners 
at Cawnpore were yet alive. He instantly marched four- 
teen miles further, and was only eight miles from the city 
when the newly-crowned Peshwa anticipated his arrival 
by hacking his victims limb from limb and throwing them 
dying or dead into a well. After issuing proclamations that 
the infidels had been overwhelmed and sent to hell, he 
ordered out his troops to meet General Havelock, and a 
tierce battle was fought. The terrible charge of the British 
und their Sikh comrades bore down all before them and 
ihe sepoys fled. The next morning the British forces 
beheld the signs of the fearf td tragedy, and no one can say 
that the vengeance was incomplete. The well of Cawnpore 
is now enclosed with a rich screen carved in stone ; and 
on it the figure of an angel in the attitude of perfect rest, 
signifies the joyful hope of resurrection to eternal life. 

The main features in the struggle in Bengal were now 
! lie rescue of the English garrison besieged in Lucknow, 
.ind the siege of Delhi by the English armies. After 
stupendous efforts, a relieving force under General Havelock 
and Sir James Outram threw itself into Lucknow on 
the 25th of September. Outram had been sent to super- 
sede Havelock, but he proved himself Avorthy of the title be- 
stcnvedon him by Sir Charles Xapier, of the Bayard of India, 
l)v waiving his rank and accompanying the force as a volun- 
11 ! r. This relief proved to be little more than a reinforcement 
of the garrison ; but by the middle of November Sir Colin 
Campbell fought his way to the capital of Oudh and with- 


drew its gallant defenders. It was not, however, till 
February 1858 that there was strength enough to once more 
capture and this time to hold Lucknow, and from it begin 
the conquest of Oudh, the only country in India in which 
the population as a whole had risen against us. 

But it was at Delhi that the bitterness of the struggle 
was concentrated, and at Delhi that political interest centred. 
The eyes of all India were turned on the imperial city, in 
which30,000 men, trainedand disciplined by England,defied 
the efforts of the 4,000 British troops that attempted to 
besiege them from their cantonments on the Ridge which 
overlooks the town. While Delhi remained in the 
hands of the rebels, the Princes of India looked on be- 
wildered, and the enemies of England exalted ; its capture 
was of the most vital importance to the re-establishment 
of the British Government in Hindustan, and to the prestige 
of the English arms. By «luly 5th tvyo British Commanders- 
in-chief had died ; a fortnight later a third was compelled 
by ill-health to resign his position, and the command devolved 
upon General Wilson of the Bengal Artillery. For a time 
the English were less besiegers than besieged. Assault 
after assault was made on their lines, and on June 23rd, 
the hundi^edth anniversary of the battle of .Plassey, the 
enemy attacked the British position with exceeding 
courage and skill. But though they were superior in 
numbers, though they were perfect in discipline and in the 
inferior details of their military movements, yet the master 
mind to which military evolutions are but the means to 
the end was wanting ; their fierce onslaughts were of little 
avail against the indomitable resolution and unattainable 
military genius of those that had traiiK^d them. They 
realised that the prophecy which had thi'illed their blood 


was at all events not literally fulfilled. As week followed 
week, the numbers of tlie besiegers increased ; John 
Lawrence denuded the Pan jab of British troops to 
hasten the fall of Delhi, and sent his legions of newly- 
•conquered Sikhs to aid their conquerors in the hour of need. 
On the 6th of September a siege-train arrived from Firoz- 
pur, and before dawn on September 14th the assaulting 
columns were formed in the trenches. Then began a 
fierce struggle, which was not ended until six days of 
hard fighting. But before a single soldier of the many 
hastening from England had set foot in India the climax 
of the struggle was past. The power of England 
was again revealed. The head was cut off the rebellious 
body; waverers were restrained from outbreaks. There 
was a large dinner given that week at Government House 
tit Puna. A telegram was put into the hand of the 
Governor while the guests w^ere seated at table. Rising 
from his chair, Lord Elphinstone read out to the assembled 
throng the welcome news that Delhi was at length taken 
and the rebels fled. A deafening cheer of delight and 
triumph burst from the Europeans, but the scowling faces 
of native ser^^ants in the very house of the Governor of 
Bombay showed what might have happened had Delhi 
not fallen. Li January 1858 the sovereign to whom the 
mutineers had sworn allegiance was brought to trial for 
waging war against the British Government ; and with 
the banishment of Bahadur Shah into exile in Burma the 
•<*urtain fell on the great drama of ]\Ioghal sovereignty. 

If the English had ever doubted of their ultimate 
success the time for doubt had passed away, and their 
nbsolute and complete reconquest of the country was only 
■a question of time. Xor could the blindest of fanatical 


rebels venture to hope for tlie restoration of tbe empires 
of Delhi. But no small efforts were still to be made to 
place once more Dhondu Pant, Kana Sahib, on the throne 
of the Peshwas at Poena. The causes that gave birth 
to the Indian mutiny cannot be omitted in a history of 
Bombay. But the great events of the struggle in Hin- 
dustan can only be sketched in the thinnest possible out- 
line. An exception however must be made in the career 
of the man who attempted to revive the empire that 
Shiwaji had created. Havelock had scattered the troops 
of Nana Sahib at Cawnpore, but they were by no means 
destroyed. It was impossible to follow them up while 
matters of more momentous consequence remained to be 
handled, and for the present they remained unmolested. 
Defeated as he w^as for the time, JN'ana Sahib did not yet 
despair of success, and he had the invaluable aid of the 
Maratha Brahman Tantia Topi, who had superintended 
the massacre of Europeans in the boats at Cawnpore. The 
two great Maratha chiefs, Sindia and Holkar, were faithful 
to the British Baj ; but they could not control their 
troops, who were smitten with the prevailing contagion. 
Sindia's troops mutinied in June and shot several of their 
officers ; but Sindia had managed to keep them in a sort 
of hostile neutrality till after the fall of Delhi. They 
could then be held down no longer ; and, accepting the 
offer of Tantia Topi to lead them against the English, they 
marched to join the rebel forces under Nana Sahib and 
his brother Bala Sahib. The Gwalior contingent was one 
of the finest bodies of men in India ; and Tantia Topi, with 
20,000 soldiers now under his command, marched against 
Cawnpore. He was at no great distance from that city 
when Sir Colin Campbell arrived from Allahdbad on his 

way to relieve Havelock and Outram at Lncknow. Out 
ram, with characteristic unselfishness, wrote to him from 
the besieged city begging him to effectually destroy the 
Gwalior rebels before he advanced to their relief. But Sir 
Colin Campbell persisted in his original intention ; and on 
the 9th of November marched into Oudh, leaving General 
"Windham with a small force to protect Cawnpore. Before 
he succeeded in his task and returned to Cawnpore, on the 
28th of November, amazing events had taken place. 

Tcintia Topi had been biding his time; and no sooner had 
Sir Colin Campbell started for Lucknow, than — leaving a 
strong detachment at Kdlpi — he crossed the Jumna and 
moved on towards Cawnpore, occupying the most important 
posts on the line of march. Windham was thus cut oS from 
communication with the country which furnished him with 
most of his supplies. Windham applied for and received 
permission to detain reinforcements that were reaching 
Cawnpore from Bengal. But, though his force was slightly 
increased, he \n as in serious danger ; and information 
reached him Avhich led him to believe that Sir Colin's force 
was surrounded by the enemy. Definite action was 
necessary, and he determined upon a skilful plan for 
foiling Tantia by taking the initiative against him. The 
carrying out of the plan involved disobedience to the instruc- 
tions which Sir Colin had left. He applied for permission 
to act according to his judgement ; but the permission could 
not reach him, and he shrank from the responsibility of 
executing in its entirety the plan which he had conceived. 
The result was half measures and failure. On the 24th he 
broke up his camp, and left the entrenchment, covering the 
town on the West, which he had been specially directed to 
keep, and marched out six miles. The next day Tantia 


drew near, andontlie 26tli Windliam defeated liim, but felF 
back on Cawnpore. Tantia fully appreciated the necessity 
of his withdrawal to defend Cawnj)ore ; and on the 27tli 
Windham found that he had been cleverly outflanked, and' 
was assailed by an artillery stronger than his own. The de- 
fence was mismanaged. He withdrew in confusion, and the- 
retreat was well-nigh a panic. The tents, camp equipage, 
and stores fell into the enemy's hands, and Tantia Topi: 
became master of the city. The entrenchment, on which 
Sir Colin set so much value, was in the greatest danger 
of suffering the same fate, but that and the bridge of boats • 
across the river to the Oudh shore were saved. Had the 
bridge, by which alone Sir Colin's force could gain Cawnpore, 
been cut off ifc would have gone hard with Windham's force - 
but hearing the firing of heavy artillery Sir Colin marched 
on with the utmost speed, regardless of his wearied troops,, 
and arrived in time to prevent this crowning disaster. The 
non-combatants and wounded were sent off to Allahabad, 
and on the 6th of December was fought the third battle 
of Cawnpore which for a time checked the activity' of tlic 
wonderful Brahman general. He was to be dealt with later 
on by Sir Hugh Eose from Bombay. The victory was a 
brilliant one. The British loss was small. The enemy 
was pursued for a great distance ; and General Hope Grant 
overtook them at a ferry, twenty-five miles above Cawn- 
pore, and won another success. In these two victories 
the Gwalior contingent lost thirty-two guns. 

It is now time to return to events that disturbed the 
peace of the Western Presidency, and then follow up the 
brilliant campaign of the Bombay army under Sir Hugh 
Rose (Lord Strathnairn) in Central India, against the rebel 
forces under the Rani of Jhansi and Tdntia Topi. 

( 359 ) 


SIR JOHN LAWRENCE had, witli magnificent un- 
selfishness, subordinated the defence of the Panj^b 
to the defence of the empire, and denuded his own pro- 
vince of troops to hasten the capture of Delhi. Lord 
Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay, adopted the same 
spirited policy. He was a statesman of real ability and 
possessed a long experience of Indian affairs. Twenty 
years before he had been Governor of Madras, and had 
there perhaps distinguished himself as a leader of society 
rather than as a ruler. But he had since become a wise and 
enlightened administrator, and by his singular tact and 
judicious encouragement of merit he had created among 
his subordinates an enthusiastic confidence for the head of 
their government. When the news of the outbreak at 
Delhi reached him he at once directed his efforts to 
supplement from a two-fold source the British forces in 
Northern India. The troops which Outram had led to 
victory in Persia had not yet returned to Bombay. In- 
stead of ordering their return to his own Presidency, he 
despatched them rapidly to Calcutta ; and, promptly grasp- 
ing the fearful magnitude of the crisis, he enabled Bartle 
Frere, his lieutenant in Sind, to reinforce Sir John 
Lawrence in the Pan jab, and helped Colonel George 
Lawrence, when mutiny broke out at Nimach and Nassird- 


bad in Rajputcina to save tliat province by tlie aid of Bom- 
bay troops from Disa. But the revolt at Nassirabad showed 
the danger to which the grand trunk road from Bombay 
to Agra, through Gwalior and Central India, was exposed. 
This communication must at all hazards be secured. Lord 
Elphinstone's resources were not great, but he equipped a 
column and despatched it to Mau (Mhow), under General 
Woodburn, wdth instructions to place his forces at the 
disposal of Colonel Durand, the Agent to the Governor- 
General for Holkar's territories at his capital of Indor. 

His arrival w^as sorely needed. Holkar was loyal, but 
his troops could not be trusted. Xot only at l^assirabad 
and Mmach had the conflagration broken out, but at 
Jhdnsi and Mehidpur ; and communication between Indor 
and Agra was cut off by the mutiny of Sindia's contingent 
at Gwalior. Durand's hopes centred in the prompt arrival 
of Woodburn' s column from Bombay, and the mutinous 
troops hearing of its approach veiled for a time their dis- 
loyalty. But Woodburn was not coming. He had found 
it almost impracticable to get on to Mau at that season 
of the year ; and, on the summons of the British resident 
at Hydarabad, he turned aside to suppress a disturbance 
which had broken out at Aurangabad, and remained there 
even after he had accomplished his purpose. On the 
28th of June Lord Elphinstone was forced to tele- 
graph to Durand that the column could not advance. As 
is always the case in India, such news spreads with mys- 
terious rapidity ; and the sedative influence which an 
unfounded rumour of the fall of Delhi had exercised on 
the people of Central India being removed by the know- 
ledge that Delhi was still untaken mutiny broke oat at 
Indor. Durand was compelled to flee. He hastened by 


forced marclies to Asirgarh in order to hurry up Wood- 
turn's column to Mau, for the rescue of Central India 
from anarchy and the restoration of the line of communi- 
«<3ation. On his way he heard that the column was at last 
actually advancing under Brigadier Stuart, who had 
succeeded Woodburn, and the line of the Narbada was 
fairly out of danger. On July 22nd, Stuart's column 
arrived at Asirgarh and was there joined by Durand. The 
force marched to Mau and arrived there on the 1st of 
August. Heavy rains detained it there for three months. 
At last the weary season of inaction passed away, and 
Durand was able to set out with a little army of 1,400 
men, of which a large proportion was cavalry and artillery, 
on a brilliant and successful campaign in Central India. 
The first place which he moved against was the fort of 
Dhar, two days' march from Mau. The defendants offered 
a vigorous resistance, but there was no disputing the 
advance of the assailants. The 25th Bombay Native 
Infantry covered themselves with glory, and the fort 
was taken and destroyed. In November, the little 
army was reinforced by a detachment of the Hydanibad 
contingent ; and the combined forces defeated the rebels 
in snccessive actions at Mandisur and Guraria. This last 
victory was decisive. Durand marched back to resume 
his position at Indor, while Stuart's forces returned 
to Mau, there to await the arrival of a great captain who 
was advancing from Bombay with an invincible army 
to war down the hostile forces that still dared to hold up 
their heads. 

But before despatching Sir Hugh Rose to Central India, 
in December 1857, Lord Elphinstone had had weighty 
duties to perform in the territories under his charge. 


In the recently-annexed proYinee of Satara, altliongh there 
was no popular rising or even agitation, there ATas yet a 
party which personally favoured the claims to the throne 
of the adopted son of the late Raja's brother. A wakil, 
or agent, named Rango Bapuji, who had travelled to 
England after the annexation of Satara to advocate the 
claims of the Raja's brother, plotted in connection with 
Nana Sahib of Cawnpore, to release the prisoners in the 
Satdra jail, plunder the treasury and attack the canton- 
ment. This plot was discovered by Mr. Rose, the district 
magistrate, on the 12th of June. He at once sent for 
European reinforcements. The conspiracy was nipped 
in the bud ; Rango Bapuji disappeared ; his followers were 
dispersed by Lieutenant Kerr with a party of the 
Southern Maratha horse. Seventeen of the conspirators 
were tried and executed, while the family of the late Raja,, 
who were implicated in the plots, was deported. 

There was more serious danger in the districts south of 
Satara and the state 'of Kolhapur. At Kolhapur, Belgaum, 
and Dharwdr there were native troops. At Belgaum 
there were about four hundred European women and 
children, while the British force was limited to a battery 
of artillery and some thirty infantry. Considerable dis- 
affection, not altogether without reason, had been caused 
in the Southern Maratha country by the proceedings 
of the Inam commission. The lapsing of estates consequent 
on the absence of male heirs, and the refusal to allow 
adoption, had created wide-spread jealousy and suspicion. 
Kolhapur was still smarting from the rebellion of 1844, 
the costs of which the state was ordered to pay to 
Government together with interest at 5 per cent. Pend- 
ing the payment in full, the affairs of the state were 


under the management of a Political Agent. Repayment 
of so large a sum seemed hopeless, and native rule never 
likely to be restored. Mr. Seton-Karr, the magistrate of 
Belgaum, was aware that in his own district — which then 
included part of Bijapur, as well as in Kolhapur and 
Dharwar — considerable excitement had been created among 
the people by the news of the triumph of Nana Sahib at 
Cawnpore, and that the three regiments at Belganm, 
Kolhapur, and Dharwar were intriguing together It was 
afterw^ards proved conclusively that they had plotted to 
rise on a fixed date ; but the sepoys of the 27th Bombay 
Native Infantry at Kolhapur, discovering that the native 
adjutant of the regiment, a Jew, was sending away his 
family, believed that this was preliminary to betraying 
them, and they resolved to rise at once. 

On the night of July 31st, in the height of the monsoon,, 
the outbreak took place, and the native adjutant had 
barely time to warn the European ladies to flee for theii^ 
lives when the sepoys came up and poured volleys into 
their bungalows. Some of the officers escaped into the 
country, but ^vere caught and shot, and their bodies throw^n 
into the river. Others took refuge in the Residency, 
about a mile from cam]), but not far from the lines of 
another military body, the Kolhapur Local Corps, com- 
manded by Captain John Schneider. The sepoys plun- 
dered the treasury and the station, and then proceeded 
to the town where they evidently expected to be let in. 
But the forethought of Colonel Maughan, the Political 
Agent, had closed the city gates, and this measure checked 
any movement in their favour on the part of the townspeoplco. 
The majority then returned to their lines, but two hundred 
of them took up a position in an outwork near the town ;: 


and, after repelling tlie local corps whicL. Colonel Mauglian 
at once led against them, marclied off tlie next day to join 
a detachment of their regiment at Ratn/igiri. On the way, 
they unexpectedly met with some European troops, and 
the bulk of the mutineers betook themselves to the jungles 
of Sawantwari. But forty, all natives of Hindustan, 
returned to Kolhapur, and threw themselves once more 
into the outwork adjoining the town. Here they were 
attacked on the 10th of August by Lieutenant Kerr, who 
]iad marched in twenty-four hours from Satara, a distance 
of more than seventy miles, by volunteers from their own 
regiment and some of the local corps, all under Major 
Rolland of the 2 7tli. A desperate conflict ensued, almost the 
whole number of the mutineers being killed. Lieutenant 
Kerr received the Victoria Cross for his gallantry on this 

The European population of Bombay was seriously 
alarmed at the news from Kolhapur. Many residents placed 
their families for safety on the ships in the harbour, 
and volunteer horse patrolled the streets at night. The 
anxiety was not lessened by the fact that Mr. Forjett, the 
energetic superintendent of police, had discovered some of 
the sepoys in Bombay to be untrustworthy. Bat Lord 
Elphinstone, wdtli admirable unselfishness, would not detain 
troops for the defence of Bombay when they were more 
urgently wanted elsewhere. He despatched two detach- 
ments of the 2nd Europeans by sea to Ratnagiri, a 
feat hitherto unattempted in the teeth of the monsoon ; 
and he directed them, after taking what measures might 
be needed to deal with the detachment at that station, to 
inarch up the Ghats to Kolhdpur. A further detachment 
was sent by sea to Goa, and ordered to march thence to 

Belganm. And Colonel George Le Grand Jacob, a soldier- 
politician of great experience, who liad just returned with 
Outram from Persia, was depatclied to Kolhapnr to restore 
order, with fall authority to act on his own judgement, 
Jacob started at once ; and, after a journey of extraordinary 
difficulty, in torrents of rain, through a country which 
then had no roads, he reached Kolhapur on the 
14th of August, Order he found had been restored ; but 
the mutinous regiment w^as still unpunished. A day or 
two later the European troops arrived from the coast. 
They had marched over w41d mountains, they had crossed 
swollen rivers, and plodded through deep mud. Their 
clothes were Avorn to rags. Some horse artillery also 
arrived from Satara, and Jacob determined on the 17th to 
disarm the native regiment. He made his arrangements 
admirably. The mutinous 27th v/as drawn up on the 
parade-ground with the Europeans and loyal natives on 
two sides of them. Jacob then addressed the sepoys, 
appealing to every motive that could lead them to reproach 
themselves for their conduct, and assured them that none 
would be punished but those whose guilt should be proved 
on a fair trial. Before he had finished speaking he ob- 
served tears on the faces of some of the sepoys, who are, as 
he himself states, but children of a larger growth. The 
order was then given to pile arms, and after a slight but 
ominous pause it was obeyed. Court-martials were 
promptly held. The next day twenty-one prisoners were 
convicted, of whom eight were blown from guns, eleven 
shot, and two hanged. It w^as subsequently discovered 
that the regiment had been in close correspondence with 
the Bengal sepoys ; and that the Bombay regiment was in 
deadly fear lest the obnoxious cartridge — that powerful 


fulcrum used bj tlie movers of the revolt — should be served 
out to them. 

The news of the mutiny at Kolhapur was telegraphed 
to Belgaum, and so was known to Seton-Karr before it 
was to the sepoys at that station. There had been greater 
anticipation of danger at Belgaum than at Kolhapur ; but 
Seton-Karr was w^ell acquainted with the designs of the 
sepoys, and knowing that a certain man had been selected 
as leader, he sent him off on special duty to a distant 
towm. The absence of their leader j)aralysed the sepoys, 
and no outbreak occurred. The detachment of Europeans, 
despatched by the careful forethought of Lord Elphin- 
stone by way of Goa, arrived on the 10th of Augnst, like 
their brethren at Kolhapur, in tatters, shoeless, and nearly 
kitless. Seton-Karr and General Lester then felt them- 
selves strong enough to arrest the conspirators, of whose 
guilt they had sufficient evidence to bring them to trial. 
The chief of these was a munshi, a favourite amongst the 
officers, whom he instructed in Hindustani. He was a 
disciple of the head of the Wahabi sect in Western India, 
who lived at Puna. Letters were found, which showed 
the existence of a W'ide-spread Muhammadan design for a 
rising in that 'psbrt of the country, and communications 
were intercepted betw^een the 29th Bombay Native 
Infantry and the 74th Bengal Regiment. The plot 
was mainly brought to light by the Faujdar, or native 
head of the Belgaum police, whose services were rewarded 
by the grant of a village. Jacob, meanwhile, remained 
at Kolhclpur, where there w^ere vague rumours of 
coming disturbance ; and the strange movement of the 
mutineers on the night of July 31st to the town was yet 
unaccounted for. 


^ The anxiety in Bombay itself was by no means ground- 
less. With a European force of only 400 Europeans, 
under Brigadier Shortt, there were three regiments of 
sepoys. The native troops were implicitly trusted by their 
officers, and the chief danger apprehended by the Govern- 
ment was from the Muhammadans of the town who num- 
bered no less than 150,000. Besides the troops, there were 
a number of native and sixty European police, nnder Mr. 
Forjett, the superintendent. Forjett was born and bred 
in India, and could disguise himself as a native and 
mix with the people without any chance of detection. He 
was convinced that the townspeople would not stir with- 
'Out the sepoys ; but he knew that the sepoys were planning 
mutiny, and much to the disgust of the Brigadier he made 
no secret of his views. The Muhammadan festival of the 
Moharam was approaching, always an occasion of anxiety 
in Bombay even during times of peace. The plans made 
by Government to keep order involved the splitting up of 
the European troops and police into small parties ; and 
Forjett by no means approved of an arrangement by which 
there would be no Europeans to oppose a mutiny of the 
sepoys at the place where it was likely to begin. As re- 
gards the troops he could do nothing, but he told the 
Governor that he felt obliged to disobey orders as to the 
location of the police. " It is a very risky thing," 
said Lord Elphinstone, " to disobey orders, but I am sure 
you will do nothing rash." Forjett did disobey orders, 
whether it was risky or not. Going' round the city 
in disguise every night of the Moharam, whenever he heard 
any one sympathising with the success of the mutineers in 
other parts of India, he at once whistled for his men, 
some of whom were sure to be near. The badmashes and 


scoundrels of tlie town were so alarmed at these inysterious^ 
arrests, which seemed to show that the authorities knew 
everything, that thej remained quiet. But close at the 
end of the Moharam, a drunken Christian drummer be- 
longing to one of the sepoy regiments insulted a religious 
procession of Hindus, and knocked down a god that they 
were escorting. He was at once arrested and placed in 
custody ; but the men of his regiment, incensed at the 
action of the police, whom they detested on account of 
Eorjett's hostility to themselYCS, hurried to the lock-up^ 
rescued the drummer and took him with two policemen 
to their lines. A European constable and four natives 
went at once to demand that their comrades should be re- 
leased and the drummer given up. They w^ere resisted by 
force ; a struggle ensued, and the police fought their way 
out, leaving two sepoys for dead. The sepoys were in the 
ntmost fury and excitement, and Forjett was summoned 
by his police. Forjett was equal to the emergency. Ho 
ordered his European police to follow him, and galloped to 
the scene of the mutiny. He found the sepoys trying tih 
force their way out of the lines, and their officers with drawn 
swords with difficulty restraining them. On seeing For- 
jett their fury could hardly be controlled. " For God's 
sake, Mr. Forjett," cried the officers, "go away!" *' If 
your men arc bent on mischief," he replied, " the soonc]' 
it is over the better." The sepoys paused while Forjett 
sat on his horse confronting them. Soon his assistant 
and fifty-four European constables arrived, and Forjett 
cried, " Throw open the gates — I am ready for them!*' 
The sepoys were not prepared for this prompt action ; and 
in the face of the Europeans judged discretion to be the 
better part of valour. 


A few days later, Forjett erected a gallows near the 
police-office, summoned the chief citizens whom he knew 
to be disaffected, and pointing to the gibbet told them 
that on the slightest sign that they meditated an outbreak 
they would promptly be hanged. The hint was taken. 
But there was still danger from the sepoys. Forjett learnt 
that a number of them were systematically holding secret 
meetings at the house of one Ganga Prasad. He imme- 
diately had this man arrested, and induced him to confess 
what he knew. The next evening he went to the house, and 
through a hole in the wall gathered from the sepoys' con- 
versation that they meant to mutiny during the Hindu fes- 
tival of the Diwcili in October, pillage the city and then 
leave the island. His report of this to the officers w^s 
received with incredulity ; but Forjett persuaded Major 
Barrow, the commandant of one of the regiments, to go with 
him to the house, and he was aghast at seeing there his 
own men whom he trusted. " Mr. Forjett has caught us 
at last," said Brigadier Shortt when this was told to him. 
Court-martials were held, the two ringleaders executed, 
and six accomplices transported for life. The Diwali 
passed off quietly ; and, by the prescience and persistence 
of the superintendent of police, Bombay was saved. 

But in various parts of the Presidency there was still 
occasion for anxiety. In September, plots to mutiny at 
Ahmadabad, and Hydarabad in Sind, were nipped in the 
bud ; and at Karachi the 21st Bombay Native Infantry and 
three Oudh recruited regiments showed a mutinous spirit and 
were disarmed. Apart from those mentioned, the Bombay 
regiments remained staunch during the crisis; those in 
their ranks who, having been recruited in Hindustan, might 
have liked to aid their brethren of Northern India being 


weighed down by the loyalty of the Marathas. But at 
Kolhapur, and throughout the Southern Maratha country, 
where the Inam commission had caused wide-spread 
disaffection amongst an armed population, there was for- 
midable danger. At Kolhapur Jacob was on the alert 
for coming disturbance. The Raja was loyal, but indolent. 
His younger brother, Chima Sahib, was a man of energy, 
with the spirit as well as the blood of Shiwaji in his veins ; 
and emissaries from l^dna Sahib stimulated his thoughts of 
rebellion. On JSTovember 15th the Raja acquainted Jacob 
with a rumour that there was an intention of attacking the 
camp, and patrols and pickets were doubled. The European 
force, too, had by this time been increased. On the night 
of the 5th of December, Jacob was roused from sleep by 
the clatter of horses' hoofs. Rushing out he met the 
Riss^ldar, or native officer, in command of the Southern 
Maratha Horse, who told him that suspicious cries had 
been heard in the town. Jacob directed the Rissdldar 
to sweep round the city and if possible secure one of the 
gates, while he himself galloped into the camp and 
sounded the alarm. Soon after the troops had 
assembled, the Rissaldar returned to say that the town 
was in hostile possession and the gates closed against 
the English, All the gates had evidently fallen into 
the enemy's hands without opposition ; and Jacob con- 
cluded that the younger Raja at least was implicated 
in the plot, and that the camp would be immediately at- 
tacked. He determined to forestall the attempt. Leaving 
the 27th under surveillance, he moved to the city with 
all available forces. A storming-party was formed. By 
dawn of day one of the gates was gallantly blown in, and 
with slight resistance the place was in Jacob's hands. But 


in the palace there were liundreds of armed men, inchiding 
a large nnmber of the hereditary garrison of the Panalla fort. 
These it was who had taken the town by escalade during 
the night. They had attempted to seize the treasure-chest 
kept in the palace buildings ; but it was guarded by a party 
of the local corps, who with commendable loyalty fired 
at the mutineers and killed their leader. All these men 
were promptly disarmed ; thirty-six were there and then 
tried by a drum-head court-martial, and on their own con- 
fession convicted, condemned, and executed. The rest were 
reserved for subsequent procedure. Jacob's prompt action, 
while Chima Sahib was still hesitating to openly commit 
himself, prevented the full execution of a plot which 
would have spread mutiny over the whole of the Southern 
Maratha Country. The explanation of the occurrence 
was gradually elicited. Chima Sahib was acting in de- 
liberate collusion with Nana Sahib. He had had frequent 
interviews with the native officers of the 27th, and with 
a deputation of sixty men from Gwalior, whose ostensible 
object was to congratulate the Raja on his marriage with 
the daughter of the Gaikwdr. A sword had also been 
received from Liicknow. Chima Sahib was sent as a state 
prisoner to Siud, and the Kolhdpur fortifications were 
dismantled. The E-aja was cleared of all suspicion and 
confirmed in his sovereignty ; but he did not long survive, 
and was succeeded by his kinsman Rajaram, a promising 
and amiable young man, who subsequently died in Italy 
on his return from a journey to England. 

In the Konkan, the remant of the Sawantwari in- 
surgents of 1844, who had been for a while confined and 
subsequently given land by the Goa Government, created 
some agitation, though they got no recruits in Sawantwari 


itseK. Under Baba Desai, who had been the prime mover in 
the former insurrection, they broke into revolt in February 
1858, harried the country and levied war in the name of 
the Peshwa Nana Sahib. But they were hotly pursued, and 
their depredations confined to a small tract of country. The 
police in this, as in other operations throughout the Presi- 
dency, gave most valuable and efficient assistance. At an 
outpost at Talliwara, near the Portuguese frontier, a 
police sergeant and twelve constables defied successfully an 
attack by a large body of rebels, w^ho actually seized their 
families and swore that they would murder them unless 
the place surrendered. The only reply was that the British 
Government would avenge their deaths, and the threat was 
not carried out. In the Southern Maratha States a suc- 
cession of petty outbreaks occurred in the cold weather of 
1857-58, owing to the disarming of the people necessitated 
by their attitude ; and Government deemed it advisable 
to place under one man the turbulent population of the 
several districts and states. Jacob was accordingly placed 
in charge of the whole in May 1858, as Commissioner 
of the Southern Maratha Country; and Charles Manson, 
who had been assistant to Seton-Karr, w^as appointed to 
act under Jacob. Manson had been connected w4th the 
Inam commissions ; and so w^as regarded wath suspicion by 
the native chiefs who were up in arms at the assumed right 
of our Government to disallow succession by adoption. 
He was thus identified with the harsher features of the policy 
of the British Government. The principal states were 
Sangli, Miraj, Kurandwiir and Nargund, the last of which 
was annexed to Dharwfir at the close of the mutiny. The 
families of Miraj, Sangli and Kurandwar were Brahmans, 
and related by marriage with Nana Sahib. The ablest chief 


was Baba Sahib of IN'argund, and lie considered himself 
grievously wronged by the Inam commission. Others 
might bide their time till they could see who was winning ; 
he, more daring, threw himself into the insurrectionary 
movement when its chances of success were at a minimum. 
On the 26th of May, a few hours after Manson had left 
Jacob at Kolhapur on his way to visit the northern states of 
the country, news of the outbreak of the Nargund chief 
reached the commissioner. Jacob immediately sent a 
mounted messenger to Manson with the news. He 
informed him that he had telegraphed to General Lester 
to send a force to ISTargund ; and he recommended 
Manson to return to Kolhapur and consult with himself 
before joining the forces, with which his proper position 
would now be. But Manson was blindly confident in 
his own influence, and replied that he would hasten to 
Nargund and nip the . revolt in the bud, or at any rate 
save Baba Sahib's brother, the chief of Ramdrug, from 
joining in it. He wrote to Colonel Malcolm, commanding 
at Kaladgi, requesting aid; but Malcolm had gone off to 
quell a rising elsewhere, and so Manson reached Hamdrng 
with only twelve wearied troopers. Here he found 
that he had arrived too late. The Nargund chief had 
committed himself past hope of recovery. But he saved 
the chief of R-amdrug, who showed him his brother's 
letters urging co-operation. He urged Manson not to go 
to Nargund, as in that case he could not answer for his 
life ; so, after writing to Jacob to throw a garrison into 
Miraj, or Sangli, Manson went off to join Malcolm. He 
started that evening. May 27th, and halted at a village on 
the way, he and his men alike wearied out with marching. 
In the night the Xargund chief sallied out with 700 or 


800 followers, killed tlie sentry on guard, and rushing 
upon Manson — who had time to wound one of his assailants 
with his revolver — killed him and cut oE his head, which 
they suspended over the gatew^ay at Nargund. Baba 
Sahib's triamph was short. Malcolm turned back from the 
rebels in the south, who were disposed of by a Madras force, 
and with some artillery and infantry from Dharw^r at- 
tacked !N'argund on June 1st, defeated Baba Sahib's force 
with great slaughter, and carried the town by assault. 
The next day they seized the citadel, a strong place of 
resistance, but on forcing the gates it was found deserted. 
The chief had escaped during the night. His track was 
followed up with extraordinary energy, perseverance and 
skill by Mr., now Sir Frank Souter, K.C.S.I., Commissioner 
of Police in Bombay, and in spite of his various devices 
for throwing the pursuers off the scent, was discovered 
the same evening with six of his principal followers, 
disguised as pilgrims. He was soon afterwards tried, con- 
demned, and executed. On hearing of Manson's death, Jacob 
threw an English garrison into Sangli ; and by a skil- 
ful negociation induced Baba Sahib, chief of Miraj, to give 
up his munitions of war, which consisted of eleven tons of 
gunpowder and rockets, wdth arms and cartridges for many 
thousand soldiers. Part of his fortifications, too, which 
were of great strength, were dismantled. Mr. Manson was 
succeeded in his post by Captain Frederick Schneider. 
Besides the places already referred to, there was consider- 
able disturbance in the hills of Ahmadnagar and it ex- 
tended more or less into Nasik and Khandesh. A man named 
Bhcigoji Naik, who had been dismissed from the Ahmad- 
nagar police, gathered together a number of Bhils and took 
up an offensive position in September 1857. In October, his 


men killed Lieutenant Hemy, the superintendent of police, 
in an action, and tlie whole Bhil population was greatly ex- 
cited. In order to check the growing disorder, Captain 
Nuttall raised a corps of Kolis, hardy mountaineers and 
hereditary rivals of the Bhils, with eminent success. 
But the movement was not entirely suppressed for a 
considerable time, and as late as October 1859 Bhagoji 
plundered the village of Korkala, in Ahmadnagar, and 
carried off property worth Rs. 18,000. He was closely 
pursued by Captain Nuttall, but by rapid and secret marches 
he managed at first to baulk his pursuers. At last, on 
November 11th, Mr. Souter, who had been appointed the 
police superintendent of Ahmadnagar, came upon him in 
the Nasik district ; and, in a hand-to-hand combat, Bhagoji 
and most of his followers were killed and the rebellion 
brought to an end. 

( 376 ) 


IT is now time to relate the doings of the Bombay army 
under Sir Hugh Rose, which Lord Elphinstone in 
spite of the danger in his own Presidency nobly sent off to 
Central Lidia. The plan for the restoration of order in 
Central India, approved by Sir Colin Campbell, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, was that a Bombay column should start 
from Mau and march by way of Jhansi to Kalpi, while a 
Madras column starting from Jabalpur should march 
through Bandalkand to Banda. The two columns were 
to support each other, and form part of a general combina- 
tion, and, besides pacifying Central India, draw off the 
pressure of the Gwalior contingent and other rebel forces 
from Sir Colin's own army. The Madras column was 
commanded by General Whitlock. 

Sir Hugh. Rose was a soldier of thirty-seven years' dis- 
tinguished service. Nor had his career been solely a mili- 
tary one. Besides fighting at the Alma, at Inkerman, and 
before Sebastopol, he had proved himself a statesman of 
keen foresight and ripe judgement at Beyrout and as 
charge cV affaires at Constantinople. Daring in the field, he 
was a man of polished manners, foremost alike in society 
and war. But in India he had not served, and there were 
some who doubted if he would succeed in the conditions of 
Indian warfare. By Christmas 1857, he was at Mau, and 
he resolved to begin his march early in January. His 


Operations had to be conducted in one of the most rugged 
portions of India. He had to traverse the dense jungles 
and impenetrable mountains and ravines of the Windhja 
range, and the fastnesses of Bandalkand, whose hardy 
populations had for centuries defied the efforts of Muham- 
madan emperors. Sir Hugh's army was divided into two 
brigades ; the first under Stuart at Mau, the second under 
Stewart at Sihor. There were altogether two regiments 
of European Infantry, one of Cavalry, four of Native 
Infantry and the same number of Cavalry, with Ar- 
tillery, Sappers and Miners, and a siege-train. His first 
task was to relieve the garrison of Saugar, which was 
hard pressed. Sending the first brigade against Chan- 
ddri in Sindia's dominions, he started for Sihor with Sir 
Robert Hamilton as political officer. On the 16th of 
January he marched out of Sihor with the second brigade, 
and after toiling for a week across rivers, hills and jungle the 
force an^ived at Ilc4thgahr,a fort in the Saugar district, and 
at once proceeded to bombard it. On the 28th, while the 
guns were still thundering at the wall, a large force of 
rebels was seen approaching, and the army of the Eaja of 
Banpur marched up to relieve the garrison. Without in- 
terrupting the bombardment, Sir Hugh sent a detachment 
to crush his new opponents. Cavalry and artillery dashed 
against them, and the Banpur troops flung down their 
muskets and fled for their lives. By the evening the breach 
seemed practicable, but ere the assault couldbe delivered in 
the morning the garrison had let themselves down by ropes, 
and eluded the troops that should have intercepted them. 
The fort was demolished. While the siege was still going on, 
Sir Hugh heard that the rebels had rallied at a place called 
Barodia, some fifteen miles off. A portion of the force was 


-detaclied against tliem ; and, after a difficult march through 
^ dense forest, they scattered the enemy and returned to 
Rathgahr. On the 3rd of February, without meeting any 
further opposition, he succeeded in relieving Saugar. The 
<listrict was still, however, threatened by the mutineers, 
who had taken up their position in an almost impregnable 
fort at Garakota, But they dared not even here await the 
English ; the fort was taken, but the garrison escaped. 

The general's object was to press on with all speed to 
Jhansi, where the rebellious Rani had not yet been inter- 
fered with. After some delay, for the collection of supplies 
a-nd for awaiting news of the Madras column. Sir Hugh 
resumed his march on the 27th. His route had to lie 
through one of two passes, Narat or Madanpur. Believing 
that he would choose the first, the Baja of Banpur occu- 
pied it with the greater part of his forces, but both 
passes were strongly defended. Making a feint at Narat, Sir 
Hugh made his real attack on Madanpur. At five o'clock 
on the morning of 4tli March he moved against the pass, 
and after a few miles' march entered a deep wooded glen 
which lay beneath it. Instantly the roar of artillery was 
heard from the gorge, and a desperate resistance was made 
to the Bombay column. So strong was the enemy's position, 
and so stubbornly did they fight, that it required all the 
efforts of the British force to dislodge them. But the 
fury of the attack was more than they could endure, and 
at last they fled, vigorously pursued by the cavalry. The 
effect of this action was so considerable that none of the 
forts, nor the river Betwa that lay between the Bombay 
€olumn and Jhdnsi, were defended. On the l7th of March 
the column crossed the Betwa. The next day news came 
that the first brigade, under General Stuart, had captured 


Ohandari. General Whitloek, too, after some delay, was 
XLOW advancing with the Madras force. 

Early on the morning of the 21st the column arrived at 
•Jhansi. The walls of the fort were 16 feet thick, and armed 
with powerful ordnance. On three sides it was protected 
by the city, which was surrounded by a granite wall 25 feet 
high. The place was almost impregnable, but the general 
■saw a point on the southern side where it might be 
possible to breach the fortification. The cavalry of the 
first brigade arrived the same day ; and on the 22nd, in 
order that the garrison, 12,000 in number, should not, as at 
Riithgahr and Garakota, escape his clutches, he invested 
the city and fort with his cavalry. By the evening of the 
22nd, four batteries were thrown up. On the 25thL they 
opened fire ; and the remainder of the first brigade arriving 
on that day, fresh batteries were thrown up on the 26th. 
A struggle now began which rivalled in its intensity the 
fierce contest that had been waged beneath the walls of 
Delhi. The besiegers, having always to be ready for 
action, never took off their clothes. They were almost 
stifled by the intolerable heat, and they had to fight with 
wet towels tied round their heads. But their general 
shared their hardships, and was ever present to cheer them 
on, and the thought of the awful massacre of English 
men and women within the w^alls was constantly in their 
minds. The defenders, on their part, knew that they could 
expect no pardon for their crimes, and that the cause of 
the rebels in Central India depended upon their efforts ; 
a-nd their guns ceased working only at night. 

But on the 31st of March the operations on both sides 
for a moment flagged, when it became known that Tantia 
Topi was close at hand to relieve Jhansi. Sir Hugh had 


now to confront not only 12,000 desperate rebels in one 
of the miglitiest fortresses in India, led by their Rani 
Lakshmi Bai, a woman of unbending will and relentless 
cruelty, but also an army of 20,000 men led by a com- 
mander who had defeated a British general at Cawnpore 
and taken that city from him. Few things in the annals of 
the British army are more splendid than Sir Hugh Rose's 
achievements at this crisis. The bombardment was 
kept up more vigorously than ever, but all the men that 
could be spared were collected from the two brigades 
to attack Tantia on the next day. Tantia had de- 
tached a portion of his force to relieve the city on 
the north ; the main body was on the right flank of the 
British, and between them and the river Betwa. The 
English general also divided his small forces ; and the first 
brigade marched out after it w^as dark, and lay down to rest 
unobserved on the right flank of the enemy. The second 
brigade remained in camp. The enemy swarmed near the 
English lines, and took up a threatening position. Their 
sentries kept telling the British that on the morrow they 
would all be sent to hell, while the garrison shouted, fired 
salutes and beat their drums. On the morning of 1st April, 
w^hile the work of bombardment went on as usual in spite 
of volley ujDon volley of musketry from the walls, the battle 
began. The British infantry were ordered to lie down, 
and the artillery opened fire on the advancing enemy. But 
the fire was insufficient to check them. Seeing this, Sir 
Hugh sent his horse artillery and some dragoons against 
their right flank, and himself led the charge of his remain- 
ing cavalry against the left. The flanks gave way before 
the fierce onslaught ; the centre halted in bewilderment ; 
the British infantry leaped to their feet, fired a volley, and 


put the wliole of the first line to flight with the bayonet. 
A moment later, and the force which Tantia had detached 
the night before came rushing back, pursued by the first 
brigade, and the rebel army was in full retreat. Even 
then Tantia displayed his generalship. He set fire 
to the jungle to hinder pursuit, and took his troops 
across the Betwa, covering their retreat by an artillery 
fire. But the British cavalry and horse artillery dashed 
through the flames, galloped through the river, 
and when at sunset they returned from the pursuit 
they had captured twenty-eight guns. In the day's 
fighting 1,500 of the enemy perished. The next day the 
breach in the wall was reported practicable ; and on the 
3rd, at three o'clock in the morning, the men were in 
their places for the assault. At length the order to ad- 
vance was given. But silently as their movements had 
been executed, the gleams of their weapons in the pale moon- 
light betrayed them ; the garrison was prepared, and fierce 
showers of shot, bullets, and rockets were poured down upon 
the assaulting columns. As they drew near to the walls, 
trees, blocks of wood, stones, and pots full of pitch were 
Imrled down with fearful effect. For a moment the 
troops wavered, but the stormers again pressed on, climbing 
the ladders which the sappers planted. Three of the 
ladders snapped, but the check was only momentary. 
Lieutenants Dick and Meiklejohn, of the Engineers, sprang 
on to the walls. Their men followed, and dashed into the 
rebels; but Dick and Meiklejohn fell dead. While the 
enemy were vainly endeavouring to repel this attack, 
another party fought their way in on the left; the two 
■bodies joined on the ramparts, and the mutineers fell back. 
A terrible struggle then took place for the possession of the 


town. The infuriated soldiers fought their way through an 
obstinate resistance to the fort, from which a cannonade 
was still kept up, and put every man in it to the sword. 
By next morning 5,000 of the rebels were slain ; for, re- 
membering the massacre of the English, the soldiers gave 
no quarter. But the Bani escaped on horseback, with a 
small escort, and joined Tantia Topi at Kalpi. 

The rebel army at Kalpi again concentrated, and num- 
bered 20,000 men. They had thrown up strong intrench- 
ments on the road from Jhansi, at a place called 
Kunch. ' Kalpi, therefore, must be taken. But fierce as 
the rebel resistance had been, the British troops had 
a deadlier enemy in the tropical sun at the summer 
solstice ; and the hardships of the campaign had filled the 
hospitals. For nearly three weeks Sir Hugh had to re- 
main at Jhansi to recruit his men, and collect supplies and 
ammunition. On the 25tli he set out for Kalpi, leaving 
Jhansi in charge of some reinforcements that had come 
from Rajputana. Before daybreak, on the 6th of May, he 
began his march against the stockade at Kunch. The 
men were wearied out by want of sleep; and, as the 
sun rose higher and higher in his fiery chariot, they 
cried hysterically for water and almost broke down with 
excitement and nervousness. At length, after marching four- 
teen miles, they halted two miles off Kunch, atid recruited 
their flagging strength with food and rest. Their strength 
revived, and in the battle that followed the infantry compelled 
the enemy to retire ; the cavalry and horse artillery shat« 
tered their ranks ; and the 52nd Bengal Infantry, which had 
mutinied in September, was almost annihilated. The 
men had marched and fougbt for sixteen hoars with the 
thermometer at 115° in the shade. More were stricken 


down by sunstroke tlian by the enemy ; Sir Hugli Eose 
having fonr successive attacks of sunstroke during the 
day. The infantry Avere much too exhausted to pursue 
the rebels, but the cavaky followed them for three miles. 

A final advance was now to be made for Kalpi, where a 
nephew of the Nana, known as Rao Sahib, and the Nawab 
of Banda had joined the forces of Tuntia and the Rani. 
Kalpi was a fort on a lofty rock on the southern bank of 
the Jumna, protected by five strong lines of defence. The 
rebels also fortified the road by which Sir Hugh was 
expected to advance. But their calculations were vain. 
Sir Colin Campbell had detached a force from his army in 
Hindustan, under Colonel Maxwell, to co-operate with the 
Bombay column ; and Maxwell was now at Golawli on the 
Jumna, six miles east of Kalpi. Sir Hugh left the forti- 
fications on one side, and effected a junction with Maxwell, 
on May 15tli ; by this movement turning the five lines 
of defence of Kalpi. The troops were terribly exhausted. 
For five days after reaching Golawli the enemy harassed 
them daily ; their leaders having issued a general order 
that, " as the European infidels either died or had to go 
into hospital from fighting in the sun, they were never to 
be attacked before ten o'clock in the day, in order that 
they might feel its force." Meanwhile, Sir Hugh repulsed 
the attacks while making his preparations for dealing 
a crushing blow. But the enemy resolved to anti- 
cipate his attack. On the 22nd they hurled themselves 
against him at Golawli, after swearing on the sacred 
waters of the Ganges to destroy his force or die. The 
result was as decisive as in the previous actions. The 
British troops, exhausted as they were, had strength left 
to put the enemy to flight, and their vow on the holy water 


of the Ganges was broken. Throngliout the night Kalpi 
was shelled by Maxwell's artillery ; and when on the 
morning of the 23rd Sir Hugh's forces entered the city, 
pigs and dogs were fighting over corpses in the streets, 
but not a sign of the enemy could be seen. Fifty guns 
and a large amount of stores and ammunition were found 
in the rebel arsenal. The enemy were pursued and over- 
taken by the cavalry ; the sepoys cut down by hundreds, 
and all their remaining guns captured. 

Sir Hugh Rose had fulfilled his instructions unaided by 
the Madras column, which arrived a few days later ; and, 
deeming that his labours were over, he issued a farewell 
order to his army. '' Soldiers," it said, ^^you have marched 
more than a thousand miles, and taken more than a 
hundred guns, you have forced your way through moun- 
tain passes and intricate jungles, and over rivers ; you 
have captured the strongest forts and beat the enemy, no 
matter what the odds, wherever you met him ; you have 
restored extensive districts to the Government, and peace 
and order now reign where before, for twelve months, were 
tyranny and rebellion ; you have done all this, and you 
have never had a check. I thank you with all my sincerity 
for your bravery, your devotion, and your discipline. 
When you first marched, I told you that you, as British 
soldiers, had more than enough of courage for the work 
which was before you, but that courage without discipline 
was of no avail ; and I exhorted you to let discipline be your 
watchword. You have attended to my orders. In hard- 
ships, in temptations, and in dangers you have obeyed 
your general, and you have never left your ranks. You have 
fought against the strong, and you have defended the 
rights of the weak and defenceless, of foes as well as friends. 


1 liave seen 3'ou, in tlic ardour of combat, preserve and 
place children out of liarni's way. This is the discipline 
of Christian soldiers ; and it is this wliicli has brouo*lit 


you triumphant from the shores of Western India to the 
Avaters of the Jumna, and established, without doubt, that 
you will find no place to equal the glory of jonv arms." 

The order was issued on the 1st of June. On the 4th, 
Sir Hugh was astounded by the news that Tantia Topi 
had formed a new and unlooked-for combination by which 
to retrieve his fortune and prolong the struggle, flaking 
for the fortress of Clwalior, with the E.ani and Eao Sahib, 
(he stirred Sindia's men to revolt. Sindia marched out 
to attack the armies that the three leaders brought into 
Iiis dominions, but his whole army,* Avith the exception of 
liis l)ody-giiard, Avent over to the enemy, and he himself 
fled to Agra. His city and fortress fell into the hands 
of the mutineers, wdio once more proclaimed Xana Sahib 
under the title of Peshwa. Hlie act was not only of 
unexpected daring, but of consummate military skill. 
Tantia had cut in two the line of communication between 
Bombay and Agra, gained immense stoi'es and muniments 
of war, and raised his prestige to an unprecedented height. 
Fully recognising the magnitude of the emergency. Sir 
Hugh made his preparations instantly to i-esume the 
campaign. On the 6th of June he left Kalpi, and, making 
forced marches, arrived in ten days at the Cantonment of 
3Iorar, near Gwalior, and on the day of his ai'rival fought 
another brilliant engagement which made him master of 
that place (June 16th). 

The next day, June 17th, Sir Hugh Rose learnt that 

* This was Sindia's own army, distinct from tlie Gwalior con- 
tingent, which had long since revolted. 


General Smitli's column, wliicli had been lioldiug Jhansiy 
was advancing to reinforce liim. Smith's advance was stub- 
bornly resisted, and an obstinate engagement was fought 
at Kota-ki- Serai, south of G\\'alior. In the last charge by 
the 8th Hussars, a trooper cut down a woman dressed in 
male attire, who was no other than the daring Lakshmi 
Bai, Rcini of Jhiinsi, whom Sir Hugh esteemed as "the best 
and bravest military leader of the rebels." 

On the 18th, Sir Hugh marched to join Smith, ^vho had 
camped not far from Gwalior, leaving General Robert 
I^apier, now Lord Napier of Magdala, who had succeeded to 
the command of his 2nd Brigade, to hold the Morar 
cantonment. Late in tlie evening the troops halted near 
Smith's position^ after a march of twenty miles, in which 
in one regiment ah>ne the sun struck down no fewer 
than eighty. Sir Hugh determined to attack the enemy 
on the 20th. But early on the 19th he saw them moving^ 
out from Gwjilior against him, and according to his usual 
custom he attacked them lirst. The charge was ordered, 
and the ever-victorious army liurled the rebels back in 
confasion on the city and vigorously followed up their 
success. That very day Gwalior was reconquered, and 
an order sent to Napier to pursue the fleeing enemy. But 
the mighty fortress of GAvalior, the Gibraltar of India, 
that loomed 300 feet above the city, still held out, and 
its guns re-opeued tire. Plearing the tire, Lieutenant Rose 
of the 28th Bombay Native Infantry and Lieutenant 
Waller, a brother-officer, determined on a daring deed. 
Taking a blacksmith and a few sepoys, they crept silently 
to the first gateway, burst it 0])en and passed iive more in 
the same manner. At last the alaim was given, and a fierce 
struggle took place. The two officers gathered their men 


together and made a riisli that gave them victory. Rose fell 
dead ; and, for his bravery, Lieutenant Waller gained the 
Victoria Cross. On that day, Sindia was restored with 
all ceremony to his palace and capital ; but the rebels had 
plundered his treasury of half a million sterling. Kaprer, 
meanwhile, overtook the flying rebels at Jura Alipur, slew 
nearly 400 of them, and took twenty-five guns. Tantia 
Topi and Rao Sahib fled into llajputana. 

It would be tedious to follow the flight and pursuit of 
Tantia from place to place. From Rajputana to Barar 
the pursait never slackened, and the last efforts of his 
resistance were seen in his junction w4th the Moghal 
prince Feroz ; but they were hunted down Avitli unsparing 
efforts, and at last, in April 1859, Tanti was caught during 
sleep in a Malwa jungle. His military genius had made him 
a formidable opponent ; personal courage he lacked alto- 
gether. He had, however, not feared to superintend the 
massacre of the English on the river at Cawnpore, and he was 
at once tried, convicted, and hanged. Nana Sahib and his 
brother, Bala Sahib, had been driven into the Terai jungles, 
at the foot of Nepal, with the remains of their armies, 
Bala Sahib, Azim Ulla, and many of the rebel sepoys 
perished miserably from the pestilential climate. It is 
probable that Dhondu Pant, Xana Sahib, who called him- 
self Peshwa, shared the same fate, but nothing has been 
known for certain of his end. Thus practically ended the 
rebellion in which, as Sir Colin Campbell recorded, 150,000 
native troops had been subdued. The provocation to 
the English had been terrible ; that the punishment was 
disproportionate none can say. 

Peace was proclaimed by Lord Canning on July 8th, 1859, 
and the 18th of that month was fixed as a day of general 


thanksgiving — **A humble offering of gratitude to Almighty 
God for the many mercies vouchsafed." But long before 
this, people in England made up their minds that the 
Government of the Company must cease. The Company 
had had a unique history, and under it had been built 
up a vast empire. But the mutiny had shown that the 
empire was too vast to be ruled by a body of merchants ; 
and on the 1st of November 1858, a proclamation 
was read in every station in India, in the English 
and the native languages, that the Company was 
abolished and India brought under the direct rule of 
the British Crown. From the steps of the Town Hall in 
Bombay the proclamation was read out to thousands 
and thousands, who listened to it with demonstrative enthu- 
siasm. In the Bombay Presidency the spirit of the 
proclamation was carried out first by Lord Elphinstone 
and then by Sir George Clerk, who for a second time 
became Governor. Rebellion was pardoned and despairing 
chiefs allowed to adopt sons. In this way the prophecy 
was fulfilled which foretold the extinction of the Company's 
Raj. Lord Canning, the Governor- General, became the first 
Viceroy of India. All existing dignities, rights, usages 
and treaties were confirmed, and the people were assured 
that the British Government had neither the right nor 
the desire to tamper with their religion or caste. With 
the exception of those who had been implicated in the 
murders, an amnesty was granted to all mutineers. And 
since the mutiny, no state within the limits of India has 
been annexed to the British crown, though occasions, which 
under the old regime would have been promptly followed 
by annexation, have not been wanting. The present High 
Courts at each Presidency were created by the amalgama- 


tion of the Company's Courts of Sadar Aclalat with the 
Supreme Courts, whose judges were sent out from England. 
The wisdom of one step that was taken in connection 
with the transfer of the Government to the Crown 
has been keenly debated. The Company possessed a 
European army of 10,000 seasoned veterans. These men 
would have gladly re-enlisted in the Queen's army for a 
small bounty ; but they were transferred from one service 
to the other without any reference to their wishes, as 
they themselves expressed it, like so many cattle. They 
evinced serious discontent ; and one regiment, the 5th 
Bengal Fusiliers, broke into open mutiny. Fortunately 
this disturbance was soothed without a resort to force. 
But they all demanded their discharge, and were sent 
home to England with a free passage. There, however, 
they were mostly absorbed into nine new regiments of 
royal infantry, three of cavalry, and additions to the 
engineer and artillery corps. 

It has been seen that the origin of the mutiny must be 
ascribed to a combination of causes and not to any one 
cause in particular. It cannot even be said how far it 
originated within the ranks of the arni}^, or how far it was 
due to political intrigues, which worked on men already 
disloyal. The inhabitants of India as a general rule, except 
in Oudh, were neutral. The rebellious princes and chiefs — 
among whom were the Emperor of Delhi and his family, 
Nana Sahib, the Rani of Jhansi and the Baja of Banpur — 
were altogether in the minority compared with those 
Avho remained loyal, including the great Mardtha chiefs, 
Sindia, Holkar, and the Gaikwar. England had passed 
triumphantly through the fiercest ordeal that her arms had 
ever met with in the East. The loyal classes, if they wanted 


any further proofs of the beneficial nature of English rule, 
had an ample demonstration of what the rule which it 
supplanted was like, in the insecurity for life and property 
that at once sprang up wherever her authority for a 
time ceased to be. The old class of hereditary robbers 
and marauders helped the propertied classes to realise what 
they gained from the Pax Britannica, Shattered as was 
the hostile combination by the iron hand of the supe- 
rior race, signs were not wanting that success would have 
severed its discordant elements as surely as failure. The 
]\Iuhammadans longed to restore the magnificence of 
the empire of Aurangzib, and the standard of Bahadur 
Shah was a useful rallying-point for all who wished to 
shake off a foreign yoke. But Nana Sahib had his own 
ends in view, the successful accomplishment of which 
would have soon brought him into conflict with the repre- 
sentatives of Akbar. !N'or with the revival of Shiwaji's 
empire could the Hindus of Northern India have the 
slightest sympathy. Their historical associations returned 
to the old condition of things, before Muhammadans had 
interfered with the Aryan race in India. The lesser Rajas 
merely wanted an overthrow of the system which prt^- 
vented them from indulging their taste for tyranny and 
plunder. The inhabitants of India are singularly wanting 
in a historical sense, and they looked for the restoration 
of an imaginary golden age Avhich, as far as is known to 
us, was a dismal era of aggression, violence and murder. 
Not even under the far-reaching tolerance of Akbar was 
there anj'thing like a national administration ; nor did 
either the rulers or the I'uled ever contemplate the exis- 
tence of a Government for the benefit of the people. 
Splendid palac(>s and forts were built, and roads were 


created for tlie sake of royal processions ; neitlier roads, 
bridges, nor harbours were made for the general interest 
of the people at large. Xot even under Akbar could the 
law hold in cheek the evil-doer; nowhere was there any 
real security. On the grinding poverty, which from the 
very nature of things must always exist in India by the 
side of great wealth — poverty which we have at all events 
attempted to ameliorate — they bestowed no care what- 
ever. We hear much nowadays of India for the Indian, 
Imagine for a moment, undei* Anrangzib, the cry of India 
for the Hindu ! 

( 392 ) 


IN 1830, Sir John Malcolm wrote, '' I do hope this 
steam navigation will be pushed through." But 
the Bombay Government seemingly did not agree with 
its chief as to the value of this commtinication. The 
promoter was informed that '^tlie Government did not 
look for similai' advantages from his success as the other 
presidencies." But the opening of steam navigation 
has made Bombay the iDrincipal commercial city in India. 
In 183S, monthly communication between Bombay and 
England, by the overland route, was established ; but the 
steamers of the Indian Marine, that carried the mails 
between Bombay and Suez, w^ere often irregular. This 
arrangement continued till 1855, when the Peninsular and 
Oriental Company entered into a fortnightly contract for 
the service. In 1868 Bombay was made the i^ort of 
arrival and departure for the English mails for all India ; 
and since the ojjening of the Suez Canal in 1869, all 
Government troopships with reliefs from England for 
India disembark their men at Bombay. In 1865 tclcgra- 
X^hic commnuication was established between England and 
Karachi by way of the Persian Gulf, and in 1870 between 
Bombay and Suez. Important as communication with 
England was, internal communications were scarcely, if 
at all, le>> > ^ In the IMaratha wars the difficulty of 
marching throiigli the Konkan and up tliu CiluUs into the 


Deccan was almost insiirmomitable. In 1803 General 
Wellesley made a rough track np the Bhor Ghat to Khan- 
dalla, but it was subsequently pulled up by the PeshAva. In 
1830, Sir John Malcolm opened an excellent road up the 
same Ghat, and that and his discovery of Mahableshwar 
are the principal achievements of his rule. In 1863 Sir 
Bartle Frere, Governor of Bombay, at the opening of 
the Bhor Ghat Railway incline — which for fifteen miles 
takes the locomotive up nearh' 2,000 feet, by a series of 
viaducts and tunnels, throcgh wild and beautiful scenery — 
quoted Sir John Malcolm's congratulatory' address 
on the completion of the road, and said : — " When I 
first saw the CHu'it, some years later, Ave were very proud in 
Bombay of our mail-cart to Puna ; the first, and at that time 
I believe the only one running in India, but it was some 
years later before the road was generally used for wheeled 
carriages. I remember that we met hardly a single cart 
between Khandalla and Puna ; long droves of pack-bullocks 
had still exclusive possession of the road; and probably 
more carts now pass up and down the Ghfit in a week 
than were then to be seen on it in a whole year. But the 
days of mail-cart and bullock-cart, as well as the Brinjari 
pack-bullocks, are now drawing to a close." Bombay 
can boast that she took the lead in introducing railways 
into India. The Great Indian Peninsula Railway was pro- 
jected in 1844. The first twenty miles to Thana were oiDcned 
in 1853 ; and in the mutiny Jacob was able to travel by 
rail to the foot of the Ghats below Khandalla. Through 
communication was established with Calcutta in 1870, and 
with Madras in 1871. By the Bombay, Baroda and Central 
India Railway there is through communication with Delhi ; 
and from Karachi, by the Indus Valley State Railway, with 


the Panjab ; Avliile railway enter2)rise is busy in tlie Katliia- 
war Peninsula, tlie Quetta territory, and the Deecan. 
Excellent ordinary roads cover the country. The sepoys 
of the Bombay army, unlike that of Bengal, have never 
been unwilling to cross the sea. They have distinguished 
themselves in many an expedition abroad, whether in 
China, at Aden, in Abyssinia, Burma or Egypt ; while foi- 
its extraordinary promjDtness in despatching troops from its 
dockyards, at almost a moment's notice, Bombay has 
achieved no small re^Dutation. 

Bombay itself has grown into a city of which its citizens 
may well be proud. Its beautiful natural position has 
been embellished by magnificent public buildings, and 
substantial private dwelling-houses. TLe view from 
Malabar Hill over the waters of Back Bay to the Fort has 
been compared to Neapolitan landscapes, and Bishop 
Heber's lines — 

" Thy towers, they say, gleam fair, Bombay, 
Across the bright blue sea,' 

pay a graceful compliment to the beautiful outlines. The 
population of Bombay is about 775,000 and is rapidly 
increasing. It forms a cosmopolitan society of the most 
striking varieties of race, nationality and religion. Of 
the total number there are 48,000 Parsis, and 10,000 
3^]uropeans ; the latter, however, including many who are 
hardly literally entitled to that designation. The Parsis 
fire an enterprising commercial race. They are sprung 
from the tire-worshipping Persians, who left their country 
in the seventh century on its conquest by the Muhammadans. 
They first took refuge at Ormuz, in the Persian Gulf, 
and afterwards migrated to tlie Kathiawar Peninsula and 
thence to Guzarat. Settling in tlu; conntry, they adopted 


many Hindu customs and learnt the Guzarati tongue. On 
the arrival of the English they at once attached themselves 
to that nation. They rose to great importance in Surat : 
and, when the Company's Government was moved to 
Bombay, in that island also. A large share of the trade is 
in their hands, and they own most of the hotels in 
AV^estern India. 

Since the mutiny, considerable advance has been made 
in the general administration of the Presidency. The 
administration is caiTicd on by a Governor and three 
members of Council, one of whom is the Commander-in- 
Chief of the Bombay Army. Next in the scale come the 
four Revenue and Police Commissioners, one for Sind and 
three for the Presidency proper. The unit for adminis- 
trative purposes is the district which in many respects 
corresponds to the English count}, but is generally the 
size of Yorkshire. A group of live or six districts is 
called a division, and placed under a commissioner, who 
is a supervising and not an executive officer, and who 
f<n'ms a link between the district officers and Government. 
The executive head of the district is the Collector and 
District Magistrate. The designation of Collector has been 
< [escribed as unfortunate, since the distribution of the 
revenue is a more important part of his dut}' than its 
<-ollection. He is practically responsible for everything 
that goes on in the district, and to the great bulk of the 
population for all intents and purposes he is the govern- 
ment. The magisterial working of the district is entirely 
under his charge ; the strictly judicial w^ork alone is 
assigned to the district and sessions judge, an officer who 
has occasionally two districts to work. " Nothing can pass," 
it has been said, " in the district of which it is not the 


duty of tlie Collector to keep liiinself informed, and to' 
watch the operation. The vicissitudes of trade, the state 
of the currency, the administration of civil justice, the 
progress of ])ublic works, must all affect most materially 
the interests of those classes of whom he is the constituted 

What the district is to the State, the village is to the dis- 
trict ; and there is a complete series of links from the village 
patil, or headman, to the Collector. A certain number 
of villages, say 200, constitute a taluka, Avhich is under the- 
charge of a native officer called a Mamlatdar, who has 
revenue and magisterial powers, and in his smaller sphere 
possesses in the tjiluka the position that the Collector holds 
in the district. A district generally contains nine to twelve 
tcilakas. Three or four talukas form a sub- division (of the 
district) and are administered by an assistant or dej^uty- 
collector. The various departments are represented in 
each district by officers, who work under the direction 
or in co-operafcion with the collector, but are yet controlled 
by the heads of their own department. The police are 
in charge of a T3istrict Superintendent, who is responsible 
to the District Magistrate for the efficiency of his force, 
and is likewise in more professional matters under the 
orders of the Inspector-General of Police for the whole 
Presidency. The forests are in charge of a District 
Forest Officer, who has similar connections with the 
Collector and the Conservator of Forests. So with the- 
Public Works Department, there is an Executive Engineer, 
who is responsible for public buildings, roads and 
bridges ; and sometimes a separate officer for irrigation. 
The Executive Engineer is controlled in technical matters 
by the Superintending Engineer, and in general matters 


by tlie Collector. The health of the district is looked 
after by a Civil Surgeon, who is controlled by the 
Surgeon- General with the Government of Bombay. The 
Educational Department has a Deputy-Inspector, who 
works with the Collector, and yet under the Director of 
Public Instruction ; and so with other departments, such as 
the Salt, Telegraph and Post-office. 

The system of land tenure has already been referred to 
(page 30). It is founded on the existing native system, 
but brought into a more regular and uniform shajDC by the 
Survey Department. The Survey Settlement was begun 
in 1836, and ten years later the various existing surveys 
were systematised. in a regular and definite form. In 1847 
a Joint Survey Report was made by Mr. Goldsmid of the 
Civil Service, CajDtain (now Sir George) Wingate, and 
(vaptain D. Davidson, and these joint rules, which were 
extremely concise and simple, remained the authority on the 
subject till 1865. In that year they were again issued, but 
with considerable modifications ; and under the present 
Land Revenue Code the system has become more intricate 
and elaborate. Almost the whole of the Presidency has 
been measured out by the department into *' Survey 
!N^umbers," and boundary marks, which are carefully pre- 
served, set up between each individual field, and maps of 
each village prepared in detail. The land having been 
measured out, it is classed according to the authorised rules 
with reference to soil, position and other considerations, 
and its assessment thereby fixed for a term of thirty years. 

The Forest Department is of later origin. The first Con- 
servator of Forests was created in 1847, but no staff was 
appointed for many years later ; and the department 
practically dates from 1865, when it was handed over from 


the Military Board to the Rca eniie Department. With the 
increase of population and the clearance of land for cul- 
tivation, it was found that the wasteful use of w^ood and 
the indiscriminate cutting dowai of trees by the land- 
liolders and villagers -was denuding the country of forests, 
and even affecting the climate. Forests are now strin- 
gently preserved, and the check on the former lavish waste 
of wood has created considerable discontent. The prin- 
ciples of the department have been thus laid down by 
Government : — " The true objects for which the Forest 
Department is organized and maintained are — ■ 

'' {1st.) To guard and preserve from wasteful destruc- 
tion the timber growing on defined tracts of land, which 
may properly be wdthdraw^n from private occupation ; and 
by good management to ensure the supply from those 
tracts in time to come of the timber needed to meet the 
Avants of the country. 

" {2nd.) To combine wdtli the above the realization, by 
reasonable means, of such a revenue as the Government is 
fairly entitled to expect from its possession of such valu- 
able property. 

*' But in striving to attain these ends, Government are 
bound to pay due regard to the habits and wants of 
perhaps the poorest class of the population ; and they 
strongly deprecate vexatious and excessive interference 
with their daily life, for the purpose of enforcing iu pettj- 
details the so-called rights of the Forest Department." 

The forests now bring in a handsome revenue to Govein- 

Wherever Englishmen govern they wdll make roads and 
bridges, and nowhere was there more needed in this way 
than in the empire that we w^on from the Peshwa. Public 


buildings, roads, bridges, wells, or tanks of ^Nlaratlia origin 
were, it may be said, non-existent. Their predecessors, tlie 
Mnliammadans bad, on t lie other hand, left not a few useful 
memorials of their rule, but their object was almost entirely 
the convenience of the rulers. Where the king was likely to 
travel, there would be roads, wells andrest-houses — elsewhere 
jione. The Xawabs of the Deccan made bridges, roads and 
wells, and planted avenues near their own country seats. 
The first efforts of the English in this direction were of 
imperial rather than local convenience ; to ensure military 
communications and advance similar indispensable objects. 
But as the process of administration ripened into greater 
completeness, attention was given to the providing means 
for internal communication in all rural districts as they 
came under survey. In 1852 Major Wingate submitted 
a scheme for the creaticm of local funds for this purpose, 
and for village schools, wliich was finally brought into force 
in Sind in 1865, and in the rest of the Presidency in 1869. 
The following are the main provisions of the scheme : — 

I. *' That there should be local funds for the promo- 
tion of education in the rural districts, and for the forma- 
tion and repairs of local roads. 

II. " That this fund should be in part at least provided 
by a local cess, imposed in addition to the ordinary assess- 
ments where no pledge expressed or implied to the 
contrary has been given, and when such a pledge has been 
given, deducted if Government permit from the land 
assessment, or levied by a voluntary rate from the payers 
of land tax. 

III. " That the tax-payers should have an influential 
voice in the disposal of the funds." 

It was arranged that the cess should be in the proportion 


of one anna to a rupee of the assessment, and that two-thirds 
of this should go to roads and one-third to education. Other 
funds, too, were added, such as the surphis from toll and 
ferry and cattle-pound funds, and the management of these 
works handed over to the Local Fund Committee. The 
sjstem has now developed to large proportions. 

While self-governing village communities have existed 
in India from time immemorial, the unit under native rule 
never ceased to be the village. But besides the sjstem 
of Local Fund Committees, the British Government has 
created Municipalities in all towns above a certain size 
for the management by the citizens in conjunction with 
the district authorities of the local affairs of the town, 
such as roads, education, w^ater- supply, and sanitary ar- 

In order to ensure the pi'oper working of this elaborate 
system of administration, the Bombay Government insists 
on District Officers spending a large part of each ^^ear on 
tour. The Collector is on tour in his district for at least 
four months annually ; but directly the dry weather of each 
year is thoroughly established at the end of October, each 
Assistant Collector, Superintendent of Police, Forest and 
Survey Officer moves into camp, and lives in tents till the 
following June, when the rains drive him into the station. 
Pitching his camp in one village after another, talking to 
the people and listening to their grievances, each Dis- 
trict Officer gets a thorough acquaintance with the wants 
of the country, and the state of feeling of the people. Ho 
makes the acquaintance of the influential inhabitants of 
the country, and the lower and more ignorant classes have 
easy access for the purpose of making known their com- 
plaints. Even when the grievance i.s an i)iino-iiiar\' one 


ancl it cannot be remedied, it gives immense gratification 
to tlie simple lyot to be able to tell his story to tlie sabib 
in liis own language, and obtain a patient bearing. Thus 
English officials go eveiywhere and see everything ; they 
actually live among the people, and see them in their most 
attractive guise when carrying on their agricultural opera- 
tions in their villages, and not by any means only when 
exercising their inimitable talent for swearing that black 
is vrhite in our law courts. 

How far the British system of Government has really 
affected the mass of the people and taken a hold upon 
them, whether they are thriving and happy, or poor and 
miserable under our rule, is a vast subject, and one that can 
hardly be answered in a moment. It has been reiterated 
over and over again of late years, by those Avho dash 
through India in a flying cold weather tour, or who seek 
to gain a notoriety by sensational writing, tjiat the condi- 
tion of the people is getting worse year by year ; that 
under British rule they will soon be all ruined; that they 
are at present undergoing miseries which are but premoni- 
tory to absolute bankruptcy, and that our system is wholly 
alien to their wants and requirements. Unfortunately, 
writers of this class generally prove too much, and the 
mere continued existence of the Anglo-Indian system in 
i?pite of their prophecies is enough to demolish their case. 
But we who live among the peo^Dle, and week after week 
never see the face of a fellow-countryman, may at nil 
•events have a claim to be heard as to what we are 

To compare the position of the ryots and cultivating" 
=clasi5es in general with that of corresjD ending classes in 
Europe is necessarily futile. They belong to different 


worlds. An English labourer is extremely badly oii' 
on two shillings a day. But a labourer in India is well 
oE on three or four pence. Food is cheap and plentiful ; 
clothes, beyond a girdle round his loins for the greater 
part of the year, are superfluous encumbrances. From 
the j^hysical conditions of the country, the rate of wages 
has been from the earliest times extremely low and the 
labour market abundant, while interest and rent were 
always high. And so, from the first, the wealth of the 
upper classes was excessive ; the poverty of the lowest 
great. That the cultivator can ever be actually wealthy is 
impossible. Government cannot alter the natural condi- 
tion of things. But it nevertheless can do, and has done 
no little for tlie ryot. It has given him an absolutely fixed 
tenure, with freedom over his land, such as exists in no 
other part of the world ; it accepts a moderate rent, which 
is assessed for thirty years in advance ; a rent which in fair 
seasons leaves an ample profit, and in poor seasons enough 
to live on. In bad seasons, in order to prevent borrowing 
at high interest from the money-lender. Government makes- 
loans to the ryots for the purchase of seed and cattle, and 
for assistance under particular distress; and at any time^ 
advances money for the construction of wells and improve- 
ment of land. If by death, or otlierwise, a survey number 
ceases to be occupied, there is ahv^iys considerable compe- 
lition for its lease; and the rent being fixed and unalter- 
a])le, the right of occupancy is put up to auction for a 
lump sum, the land at the assessed rent passing to tlie 
highest bidder. Judging them by the physical conditions 
of the country, and taking into c-onsideratiou tlie limited 
extent of their requirements, and not losing sight of their 
improvident habits, no one who has lived among and 


"known the peasantry of Western India, seen tlieir houses 
and their fields and their cattle, can say that the}' do not look 
Avell and comfortably off. Apart from their land assessment, 
the only tax that they need pay is that on salt. Tobacco is 
untaxed ; on their clothes imported from Manchester there 
is no duty. There are no signs whatever that the peoiDle 
were ever better oif than they are now; that they were worse 
oif when the Pindharis burnt their houses and plundered 
their hardly- gained earnings, when armies devastated the 
country, and flocks and herds and crops were seized for 
the soldiery, there is no doubt whatever. And it must be 
borne in mind that, thrifty and frugal as he is, the ryot is 
t'xtremely improvident. If people in England marry with- 
out an income tlieir conduct is regarded as well nigh 
criminal by tlieir friends and relations. In India, on the 
contrary, the question of future provision for the children 
whose marriages their parents arrange is one that is never 
so much as thought of. By their religion marriage is 
necessary for final salvation ; and, with perfect trust in 
Providence to provide, marriages are recklessly contracted, 
and enormous debts incurred in ceremonies and fees to 
priests. And so land, which could support two or three 
families in comfort, has often to support double that num- 
ber in comparative discomfort- For such a state of things 
no Government can be blamed, and no ruler be held re- 
sponsible for its results. In any other country, such reck- 
less increase of population among a people who detest 
leaving their native villages would infallibly cause utter 
ruin in a few generations. The native of India is essen- 
tially a borrower. It is nothing more to him to be in the 
monej'-lender's hands than to an Englishman to know that 
his country has a national debt. Indebtedness is looked 


upon as a matter of course. There is no golden road by 
wliicli to remedy this disease. Improvement may come in 
time by the spread of education, but the process is neces- 
sarily slow. Thus while the standard of prosperity cannot 
be very high, yet when food is cheap, clothing hardly needed, 
houses amply suited to the climate built at slight labour 
and cost, where improvidence recklessly squanders natural 
advantages, the population are, considering all things, well to 
do, and most assuredly do not looked starved or unhappy. 
The people of the roughest lands in the Deccan contrast 
favourably in appearance with the peasantry in the rich 
plains of Bengal under the permanent settlement and 
zemindari system. 

That these people have the slightest ambition for any- 
thing beyond having enough to eat and drink and giving 
their sons and daughters in marriage is a supposition 
which, if entertained at all, is altogether imaginary. What 
Shiwaji and the Sind Amirs thought of the common 
people has 'been recorded. They have always counted for 
nothing ; the idea of their ever having a voice in the 
management of the state or even of the affairs of their 
own district, always excepting their villages, would have 
seemed ludicrous and absurd. They have for century 
after century toiled and obej'ed, giving allegiance to their 
rulers whoever they might be, and taking little interest 
in who they were. Therefore, any comparison of them with 
the English peasant, who wears boots and clothes, reads the 
newspapers and records his vote for his county or borough, 
is utterly impossible and misleading. In real truth, tlio 
condition of the ryot has steadily improved and is 
still improving. Whether he realises that fact is quite 
another thing. Tlie native of India has little historical 


sense or recollection ; and, wliile lie forgets all about the 
Pindliciris, he may talk of the good old times, which exist 
only in his imagination. There are plenty of designing 
people who are ready to tell him that never before 
was he so badly off, and that his misery is entirely 
due to a foreign Government. Natives of the higher and 
more educated classes are found who, to secure political 
advancement, journey to England and prate to audiences, 
who have no means of verifying their statements, of their 
being the representatives of 250 million people, and incite 
pity for the wretched ]Deasant who only earns three pence 
a day and Avears only a cloth round his loins. That on 
three pence he can support his family, and that more 
clothing would merely be troublesome, they omit to men- 
tion. To raise the burden of caste superstitiou and 
priestly tyranny these self-dubbed advocates lift not so 
much as their little finger ; and they could not, without 
being defiled, touch these people whom they profess to 

That shortcomings are necessarily incidental to a 
foreign rule needs no demonstration. The manners of 
European officials may not always be in consonance with 
Hindu tastes, but any wish to offend in such a 
way is a thing almost entirely unknown. *' The British 
Government," a Muhammadan gentleman writes, "and the 
Europeans employed in carrying it on are foreigners, 
between whom and the natives there is no social sympathy 
and fellow feeling. But is that Government tyrannical, or 
are its servants tyrants ? as some persons assert. This 
question can only be answered comparatively. A compa- 
rison instituted between the British and native rule is 
very much to the advantage of the former. I know a great 


deal of tlie British rule, and also of the administration of 
some native states. We know what the political, moral, 
and material condition of India was before the British 
rule. Does any one pretend to say that there were good 
laws, that there was protection of person and property, 
that the poor had any remedy against the great and the 
rich, that there was liberty of action and opinion, that 
there was peace, that education was provided for the 
people ? 

''The administration of many Native States in India 
has considerably improved of late. But to whom is 
this due ? Surely to the British Government and their 
Political Agents. I personally know that in certain states 
even such improvements as good communications, efficient 
police, equal justice, removal of oppressive taxes, opening 
of a few schools, and so on were adopted by the chiefs 
after ^^ears of pressing from the Government and its agents ; 
and at last they were adopted to please the British 

" It is true that the masses of people in India, both in 
British India and in the Native States, are poor, ill- fed and 
ill-clad. But who can say that tliis is due to the British 
rule ? Their condition was never better ; it was perha]is 
worse before." 

A few points may be noticed which demonstrate tlie im- 
proved condition of the people. Men have perished in 
masses in India from famine, at the very time when in otlier 
parts of the country there was a superabundance of iood 
which could not be brouglit to them. IsTow railways pour 
grain by tons into starving districts, and where famine 
raged a few years ago there remains no sign of the misery 
that was undero-one. But of a ^vwA fnmine that occurred 


in Khandesli at tlie beginning of the century tlie traces, in 
deserted villages and overgrown fields, have not yet passed 
away. The financial statements of the Government of 
India show that the exports and imports of merchandize 
and treasure increased, from an annnal amount of fourteen 
millions sterling in the early part of the century, to sixty 
millions in 1859 and 154 millions in 1884. This enormous 
increase of trade cannot have taken place without an improve- 
ment in the purchasing as well as producing-power of the 
people. This is shown by the increase of imports of cotton- 
goods from nineteen to twenty-five millions in five years. 
One noticeable increase in the standard of comfort is, that in 
a single year nearly four million umbrellas were imported, 
and sheet glass is wanted more and more for windows in 
native dwellings. As by railways the wealth of the 
country can be distributed, so by irrigation works its pro- 
ductiveness ^is immensely increased. In short, while 
optimism may be dangerous, yet the pessimist views of 
ignorant and designing writers are altogether to be 

I cannot close this sketch better than by an extract front 
the writings of Sir Henry Lawrence. 

'' Though compelled in candour to admit that without 
sword -government the British in India could not maintain 
their position, we feel strong in our hearts the conviction 
that one good magistrate may be better than a regiment ; 
one sound law well administered better than a brigade ; that a 
happy mixture of a just civil administration with the strong 
hand will retain the country in peace and happiness as 
long as it is good that we should hold it. It is not by 
believing either ourselves or our laws all purity or all 
-corruption that we are likely to come to a right under- 


standing of wliat is best for India, but by a close study of its- 
past history ; and tlien by setting ourselves down, each in 
his own sphere, and honestly working out the details of 
a code honestly and ably prepared, not shifting and chang- 
ing from day to day, but founded on experience and suit- 
able to a rude and simple people who, like all people under 
the sun, prefer Jiistice to Law ! " 

The End. 



Abclulla Syad 130 

Abercrombie, General 194 

Aboriginal tribes 10 

Aden captured 303 

Adil Shahi dynasty 52 

Afghan war, first 29-1 

AfzulKhan 106 

Ahmad Shah 43 

Ahmad Shdh Abdali 150 

Ahmad Shah, Emperor 150 

Ahmadabad, 44 ; taken by the 

Marathas, 148 ; by tlio Englisli 179 
Ahmaduagar, 52, 54 ; end of the 

kingdom, 93 ; Wellesley at ... 216 

Akbar 69, 71 

Alamgir, Anrang/ib 104 

Alamgir II 150 

Albuquerque 61 

Alexander 26 

Alibag 132 

Ali Munid of Hydarabad 297 

Ali Murad of Kyii3ur 307 

AHngton, Captain 180 

Aliwardi Khan 156 

Alia- ud- din, conqueror of the 

'Deccan 40 

Almeida 62 

Amherst, Lord 275 

Amir Khan 234,262 

Amirs of Sind 296 

Anand Eao Gaikwar ...212, 213, 226 
Anderson, Mr., envoy to Sindia. 184 


Angria — Kanhoji, 126, 132, 135 ; 
Tukaji, 126 ; Tulaji, 154, 155 : 

. Raghoji 320 

Anjidiwa 50, 110 

Apa Saheb,regentof Barar...247, 260 

Aras, battleof 171 

Arcot, siege of 147 

Argaum, battle of 222 

Arikera, battle of 194 

Ashta, battle of 260 

Asirgahr 46 

Asoka 21, 2S 

Assaj'e, battle of 219 

Auckland, Lord 291 

Aungier, Gerald 115 

Aurangiibad, 96; ])attle of 163. 

Aurangzib, Viceroy of the Dee- 
can, 96 ; usurjjs the throne, 

101 ; war in the Deccan 127 

Azim Ulla Khan 346,387 


BabaDesaiof Sdwantwari 372 

Babar 47, 67 

Bahadur Shah of Guzarat 65 

Bahadur Shah, Emperor 129' 

Bahadur Shah, last Emperor, 345, 353. 
Bahmani, kingdom of the Deccan 42 

Bahram Khan 71 

Baillie, Col., his defeat 182 

Baird, Sir David 214 




BaimPant, Pesliwa 1'^^ 

BajiRao(l) lo8 

Baji Rao (2), 201 ; flight to 
Bombay, 211 ; treaty of Bassein, 
212; battle of Khirki, 253 ; sur- 
renders to Malcolm, 264 ; sent 

to Cawnpore, 265; death 323 

Bakar, foi-t of 296 

Balaji Baji Rao, 143, 149; death. 160 
Bdlaji Janardin (Nana Faiiidwis 159 

Balaji Wishw.'inath 131 

Bankot, or Fort Victoria 155 

Balance of power 231 

B^tpii Gokla 250, 254, 257 

Barar,53, 138; ceded to the Nizam 224 

Barlow, Sir George 231 

Baroda, 3; taken by English... 213 
Bassein, 70 ; taken by the Eng- 
lish, 181; treaty of 212 

Bassora 36 

Bawa Sahib 321 

Bedniir 189 ' 

Bell, Mr. Ross 303 

Bentinck, Lord William, 233 : 
Governor-General, 281, etc. : 
meeting with Ranjit Sing, 291 ; 

335, 337 

Bemadotte 188 

Best, Captain 87 

BhagojiNaik 374 

Bhag^va Jenda 259 

Bhartpur, siege of 229, 276 

Bhils, 11, 237 : pacification of ... 273 

Bhopal, anarchy at 289 

BhorGhat 177 

Bidar 42, 44, 53 

Bijanagar 56 

'i5ii:n>nr. 52, 55 : its Imildings, 57: 
f. kcu })y Aiuangzib 124 


Black Hole of Calcutta 157 

Blake, Mr. , murdered 289 

Bolan Pass 295 

Bombay, ceded by Portuguese, 
110 ; proposal to remove from 
to Janjira, 114; becomes Presi- 
dency, 121 ; growth of the city 394 

Boone, Governor 135 

Bourchier, Governor 154 

Bourquin, Louis 221 

Briggs, Capt 266, 273 

British Supremacy 230 

Broach, taken by the English, 

169; given to Sindia 184 

Browne, Col 183 

Brydon, Dr 304 

Buddha 20 

Burhanpur 46 

Burmese war 275 

Bumes, Alexander 200. 297, 301 

Burr, Col 254 

Bussy 1?7, 188 

Byfield, Mr 156 


Cabral 59 

Calcutta founded 122 

Camac, Col 1S3, 198 

Campbell, Capt 180 

Campbell, Sir Colin 353 

Canning, Mr 24 7, 255, 258 

Caniiiijg, Lord, .■i2S, ."541 : Ite- 

coines first Viccinv 0)SS 

Carnac, Mr., 177 : disii;is<t(l ITS 

Camac, Sir James 292 

Caniatic 155 

Caste 13 

ChandBibi 76 




Clianda Sahib ' 146 

Chandra Gupta 28 

Chaplain, Mr 266 

Charnock, Job 122 

Chaul ol, 64, 141 

Chauth 114 

Chetu, Pindhdii 262 

Child, Sir John 121 

Child, Sir Josiah 121 

Cliild-marriage, forbidden by 

Akbar 80 

Chima Sahib of Kolhapur 370 

Chimnaji 140 

Chimnaji Apa 201 

ChinKhilich Khan ]30 

Chisholm Lieut 257 

Clerk, Sir George 323, 388 

Clive, 145 ; at Gheria, loo ; at 

Plassey lo7 

Close, Capt 248 

Close, Col 211, 238 

Columbus 52 

Companies, East India, final 

union of 122 

Confederacy, Maratlia 186 

Coote, Sir Eyre, 158, 182 ; at Porto 

Novo, 183; death 188 

Cornwallis, Lord 192, etc.; 

second term of office 229 

Corten's, Sir Thomas, new Com- 

X^any 95 

Crowe, Mr 296 


Dabba 316 

DaGama 51, 60 

Dainglia (sec Trimbakji) 
Dalhousie, Lord 322, 326, 340 


Damtiji Gaikwar 138 

Dara 101 

Darius 26 

Dassara, festival of 251 

DaudKhdn 130 

Daulat Khan Lodi 47 

Davidson, Capt 397 

DeBoigne 191, 217 

Deccan ;j 

De Xueva 59 

Deshmukhs 33 

Deshpands 33 

Dharwar, ceded 246 

Dhondia Wag 209 

Dhondu Pant (see Xaua Sahib) 

Diaz 52 

Dick, Lieut 381 

Dig, fort of 228 

District officers 395, 400 

Diu, 65 ; siege of 66 

Dost Muhammad, 292, etc. 

Drake, Sir Francis 84 

Dudrenec 197 

Duncan, Governor 207, 211, 224 

Dupleix 145 

Durand, Col 360 

Dutch, the, 79 ; attack Bombay 115 


East India Company, 84 ; aboli- 
shed 388 

Eastwick, Lieut 296, 301 

Education 270 

Egerton, Col., 177 ; dismissed ... 178 

Egypt, Bombay troops in 214 

Ellenborough, Lord, 297 ; Gover- 
nor-General 304 




Elphiustone, Mountstuart, 220, 
223 ; resident at Puna, 238, 2.52; 
at battle of Khirki, 253; com- 
missioner of the Deccan, 258 ; 
Governor of Bombay, 269 ; his 
love of sport, 272 ; policy and 

views, 279 ; retirement 280 

Elphinstone, Lord 346, 359, 364 

European aiiny of the Company. 389 
European officials, their position, 283 

Ealkland, Lord 323 

Famines 407 

Faroksir 130, 135 

Fatte Sing Gaikwar 171, 199 

Feroz, Prince 387 

Fitzgerald, Capt., at Sitabaldi ... 260 

Ford, Capt 239 

Forde, Col., defeats French and 

Dutch 158, 159 

Forest Department 397 

Forjett, Mr 364, 367 

Francis, Mr., his views on 

Bombay 174 

Free press 268 

Free trade 196 

Frere, Sir Bartle 359, 393 


Gaikwar, oiigin of 138 

Gama da Vasco 51 

GangaPrasiid 369 

Gangadhar Shdstri 242 

Gawilgahr 77, 222, 223 

Gell, General 322 

Ghats, Westem 3 


Ghatge, Shirji Eao 203, 209, 229 

Ghaznevide dynasty 37 

Ghazni 36 

Gheria, 135 ; Clive at 155 

GholamKhadir 191 

Goa, 63 ; gariisoned by British 

troops 236 

Goddard, Col 178, etc. 

Gokla (see Bapu) 

Golawli, action at 383 

Goldsmid, Mr 397 

Golkonda, 53 ; taken bj Aurang- 

zib 124 

Gordon, Capt 141 

Gordon, Major 262 

GowindEao Gaikwar 171, 19f> 

Grant, Sir John Peter 284 

Grant Duff, Capt 258 

Grantham, Sir Thomas 121 

Guraiia, battle of 361 

Gujarat, 3 ; becomes a Muhamma- 

dan kingdom 44 

Gujarati language 7 


Harcourt, Col 217 

Harding, Lord 322 

Hanis, General 20& 

Hai-tley, Capt 177, 194, 207 

Hastings, Marquis of 24 1 , 26S 

Hastings, WaiTen, 173, 176, 179, 

etc. ; retires 192 

Havelock, Sir H 352 

Hawkins So. S5 

Heber, Bishop 'J77. ;')1M 

Hemu 72 

Henery Island 32 1 

Henry, Lieut ;)75 

Herat, siege of 293 




Hijira 35 

Hindustan i 

Hindustani Language 8 

Hislop, Sir Thomas 248 ; at 

Mehidpur 261 

Holkar, origin of 138 

„ Tukaji 200 

„ Yeshwaut Paio, 202, 210, 

214, 227, 232 

„ Wituji, 202; death 211 

,, Amrat Eao 215 

, , Malhar Rao 232, 261 

,, TulsiBai 232, 261 

Holland, Governor 193 

Hornby, Governor, 169, 175, 178, 180 

Home, John 140 

' * Hugh Lindsay, "the 287 

Hughes, Admiral 188 

Humdyun 68, 69 

Hussein Ali of Mysur 194 

Hussein Ali, Syad, 130 

Hydar Ali, 163, 182; death 188 

Hydar Kuli Khan 137 


Imamgahr, Xapier's march 

against 309 

Inam Conmiission 362, 372 

Inamdars 31 

Inchbird, Capt 141 

Indus 3 

Infanticide 211 

Interlopers 288 


Jacob, Capt 313 

•Jacob, Col 365, 370, 372 


Jahandar Shah 130 

Jahangir, 83, etc. ; treaty with the 

English 88 

Jagat Shet 143 

Jains 22, 29 

James, Commodore 1 54 

Jangiz Khan 39 

Janjira, 99 ; attached by Shiwaji, 

1 14 ; never conquered 199 

Jan Patka 254 

Jay Singh, General 113 

Jaypal, King 37 

Jazia 80, 83 

Jenkins, Mr 260,261 

Jhiinsi, Rani of, 351, 378, 386 ; 

siegeof 379 

Kabul, capitulation at 

Kachh, 3 ; expedition against ... 



Kallora, in Sind 

Kanara 3, 

Kanarese language 

Kanhoji (see Angria.) 

Karachi, taken 

Karanja, taken 

Karim, Pindhari 

Karrak, exj) edition to 

Kasim conquers Sind 

Katak, Maratha fort at 


Keane, Sir John 

Keating, Col 170, 172, 

Keigwin's rebellion 

Kennedy, Col 

Kerr, Lieut 362, 






KhancVilla 177, 182 

Ivhdncleri (Kenhery) 115 

Ivhaiiclesh, 4 ; Mussalman king- 
dom of, 46 ; reclamation by the 

British 272 

Khan Jahan Lodi 88, 91 

Khardla, battle of 200 

Khirki, battle of 253 

Ivhiljy dynasty 39 

Khizr Khan 47 

Kolaba, 132; annexed 320 

Kolhapur, Eaja of, 129 ; a sepa- 
rate state, 144; war with 321 

Koli rising 322 

Korygaum, battle of 256 

Kota-ki-Serai, battle of 386 

Krishna 4 

Kulbarga 44 

Kulkamis 32 

Kutab-ud-din 38 

Kutab Shahi dynasty 53 

Lake, General, 217 ; at Laswari, 
221 ; war with Holkar ... 227, 232 

Lancaster, Cai)t 84, 85 

Land tenure 30, 397 

Laswari, battle of 221 

Lawrence, Col. George 359 

Lawrence, Sir John 355 

Lawrence, Sir Heniy, his views. 407 

Leslie, Col 177 

Lester, General 306, 373 

Lingayats 22 

Local funds 399 

Lodi dynasty 47 


Macgregor, Capt 262 

Mackintosh, Sir James 225, 269 

Macleod, General 190 

Macpherson, Mr., Governor- Gene- 
ral 192 

Madanpur, battle of 378- 

Madras, founded 95 

Mahabharat l'> 

Mahableshwar 4, 285 

Mahadaji Sindia, 151 (seeSindia). 

Maharajpur, battle of 320 

Maharashtra 7 

Mahdu Rao Peshwa 162, 167, 201 

Malabar 3- 

Malcolm, Sir John, 223, 231, 248 ; 

atMehidpur 261 

Governor of Bombay 281, 393- 

Malcolm, Col 373, 374 

MalcolmPeth 285 

Malet, Mr 192 

Malegaum, surrender of 265 

Malik Ahmad 54 

Malik Ambar 78. 

Mamlatdars .272. 396 

Mandisur, battle of 361 

Mandu, fort 90. 

Mangalur, siege of, 189; Conven- 
tion of 190 

Manson, Mr., 372; murdered ... 374 

Mangs 32 

Manu, institutes of 15 

Marathi language 7 

Marlborough, Earl of 110 

Mathews, General, 189 ; murdered 190' 

Maughan, Col [](}:) 

Maxwell, Col 383 

Medicine, college of, at Calcutta. 28S 

Medows, General 194 

Megadha 2S- 




Megasthenes 28 

Mehidpur, "battle of 231 

Meiklejohn, Lieut 331 

Mhars 32 

Miani, battle of 312 

Middletou 85 

Minto, Lord 234, 23G 

Mirasddrs 30 

Mir Jafar 157 

Mir Eustam of Kyiiiur 297 

Missionaries 196,270 

Moghals 38 

Moira, Lord 211 

Moiison, Col 227, 228 

Mongols 38 

Monsoon 5 

Moor, Commodore 172 

Moraba 175 

Morar, battle of 385 

Momington, Lord 205 

Mostyn, Mr., at Puna, 155, 168, 

175; death 177 

Mozaffar Khan of Guzarat 44 

Muazim, 115 ; becomes Emperor. 129 

Muda j i Blionsle of Bai'dr 181 

Muhammad 35 

Muhammad Amin 133 

Muhammad Ghori o7 

Muhaanmad of Glia zui 37 

Muhammad Ivha n 309 etc, 

Muhammad Shall, 133 ; Emperor 150 

Muhamma d Toghlak 41 

Munro, Sir Hector's flight from 

Hj'darAli 182 

Munro, General Thomas 259 

Murad 101 

Murray. Col 227 

Mur^hidahi'id 143 


ISIysur wars — 

1st 165^ 

2nd 180, 189- 

3rd 194 

4th 203 


Xadir Shah at Delhi 141 

Xajib-ud-daula 15(>' 

Nana Sahib 265, 324, 346, 352, 

356, 387 

Xana Sahib Peshwa 14;> 

Xana Farnawis... 153, 162, 200, 

etc.; death 20;? 

Xapier, Sir Charles, 307, etc 339 

Xapier, Sir Robert 386- 

Napoleon Buonaparte 206 

Xarayan Rao Peshwa 167 

Xarbada 4 

Xargund, Baba Sahib of 373 

XamallaFort 222 

Xasir Jang 140, 117 

Native States 40i; 

Xa vy, Indian 239 

Xegapatam, Dutch driven out 

of 18;]^ 

Nelson, Lord 20(>- 

Nepal, conquest of 241 

Nepean, Sir Evan 260, 266» 

Nizam AH 151, 207 

Nizams of Hydarabad 1 .'] 7 

Nizam Shahi dynasty 52 

Nizam-ul.Mulk .l 1 

Nizam-ul-Mulk 1 :](), l ;;i ; 

Non-intervention 2;] I 

Northern Sirkars 147 

Nott, General 3.3s 

Xuttall, Col 375 




Ocliterlouy, Col 2-2S, 262, 276 

Omar 35 

Outram, Sir James, 274, 302 ; his 
war with Kolhapur,321; iu Per- 
sia, 346 : at Luckiiow 353 

Oxeudeu, Sir George 112 

Oxeudeu, Henry 117 


Paget, Sir Edward 337 

Palmer, Col 204, 209 

Pamilla 108 

Panipat, battles of 47, 67, 153 

Paujab 2 

Panuiar, battle of 320 

Panwel,Egei-ton's advance from, 

177 ; Goddard's retreat to 183 

Parashram Bhau 201 

Pdrbati ISO 

Pariahs 17 

Parsaji Bhonsle 247 

Parsees 329, 394 

Patils 32 

Pattle, Capt 314 

Peninsular and Oiiental Company 392 

Perron 214, 221 

Persia, expeditions to, 277, 294, 346 
Persian Ambassador killed in 

Bombay 224 

Persian language 8 

Peshwa, oiigin of the dyniisty, 
138 ; rendition of the Govern- 
ment to 144 

Pilgiim ships of Aurangzib 
seized by Shiwaji, 113 ; by the 

English 121 

Piudhuris 234. 241 


Pirates, 154; stamped out, 239 :in 
Persian Gulf, 277 (sec Angria) . 

Plassey 157 

Police, bravery at Talliwara ... 372 

Pollock, General 338 

Popham, Capt ISO 

Porto Xovo, battle of 1 83 

Porus 23 

Pottinger, Capt., 263, 291, 297, 

301, 302 

Pottinger, Eldred 293 

PratapSing,Rajaof Satara 322. 323 

Pritzler, General 258 

ProjDhecy about the mutiny 345 

Prother,'^Col 255,259 

Pruen, Lt., and the "Ranger" 190 
Puna, becomes the capital of the 
Marathas, 148 ; burnt by the 
Xizam, 139: taken by Holkar.. 211 
Purandhar, 99 ; treaty of IT^i 


Raghoba, 143, 162: his unpoi^ula 
rity, 172, 174;his surrender 178: 

death 184 

Raghoji Bhangiia ;J22 

Raghoji Bhonsle 139, 146, 149 ; 

his alliance with English 177 

Ra,ghonath Rao 14;> 

Railways :]<):} 

Rais Pagri of Sind 296 

Rajapur 109 

Rajdram, son of Shiwaji 126 

Raj aram of Kolhapur 371 

Rajgahr 98 

Rama Kinii])ti i;]5 

Ramoshis, rising 276 

Ram Raja 113 





«' Ranger," action with Maratha 

fleet 190 

RanjitSing 241 

his meeting with Lord William 
Bentinck, 291, 298 ; death ... 305 

Eaugo Bapuji 362 

Bao Sahib 383, 387 

Raoshan Akhtar 133 

Rathghar, action at 377 

Raygahr 109,259 

Rapnond 200 

Retrenchment 283 

"Revenge," the frigate 172 

Revenue, Mariitha system 133 

Robei-tson, Capt 266 

Roe, Sir Thomas 89 

Rohillas 150, 160 

Rose, Sir Hugh 358, 376, etc. 

Rose, Lieut 386 

Rose, Mr 362 

Russian aims on India... 293, 294, 299 

Ryots, condition of the 40 1 

Ryotwar tenure 30 


Sabuktagin 37 

Saharanj)ur, Maratha f ort at ... 149 
Sahu (ShiAvaji) son of Sam- 

bhaji 126, 129, 143 

SakharamBapu 167 

Saldbat Jang 147 

Salbai, treaty of 184 

Salsette, 65 ; taken by the Eng- 
lish, 170; retained 184 

Sambhaji, son of Shiwaji, 113 ; 
hisdesei-tiontotheSidi, 117; war 
with Portuguese, 120; killed... 125 

Sambhaji, son of Rajaram 129 



Sangameshwar 148 

Sanskiit 8 

Saiingapatam, siege of 166, 182 

Satara, Raja of 258, 265; exiled 

292: annexation of the state ... 323 

Sati 80, 285 

Sawanidrug, fight at 155 

Scotch East India Company 122 

Schneider, Capt. John 363, 366 

Schneider, Capt . Frederick 374 

Seleukos 28 

Sepoy regiments, first raised 146 

Seton-Karr, Mr 363 

Shahdb-ud-din 150 

Shah Beg Arghun 53 

Shah Alam... 151, 153, 157, 191, 221 

ShahJahan 91 

ShajiBhonsle 90, 93 

Shah Suja, 292, etc. ; his claims 

onSind 299 

" Shamsher Jang," destruction 

of the 172 

Shastri, Gangadhar 242 

Sher Shah Sur, or Sher Khan ... 68, 69 

Shias 104 

Shipman, Sir Abraham 110 

Shiwaji, 94, 96, etc.; coronation, 

116; death 117 

Shiwaji, son of Rajaram 126, 129 

Shohnghar, battle of 183 

Shore, Sir John 200 

Shortt, General 367, 369 

Shuja 101 

Sidashiwa Chimnaji 149 

Sidi of Janjira 100 

SidojiGuzar 126 

Sikh wars 322 

SiHm (Jahangir) 78 

SiMera 65 



S'nd 2, 36; the Amirs of 277, 291, 

etc.; annexed 318 

Sind controversy 305, etc. 

Sindi language 7 

Sindia, origin of 138 

Sindia — 

Kanoji 148 

Jyapa 148 

MaMdaji 151, 167, 191 ; de- 
mands chauth from English, 
192 ; at Puna 197 ; death and 

character 198 

Daolat Rao 198, 200, 203, 248 

Jdnkoji 289,319 

Singhar 98, 112 

Sion 122 

Siwa 122 

Slave dynasty 38 

Sleeman, Sir William 286 

Smith, Col. Lionel 245, 260 

Soarez 62 

Souter, Sir Frank 374, 375 

Spencer, Mr l'^6 

Staunton, Capt 256 

Steam Navigation 287, 297, 392 

Stevenson, Col 215, etc. 

Stewart, General • 377 

St. Lubin 176 

Stuart, General 188, 207 

Stuart, General 361, 377, 378 

Suffrein, Admiral 1^7 

Sunnis 1^4 

Supa, battle of 77 

Sur dynasty 69 

Surat, Hawkins at, 83 ; plundered 
by Shiwaji, 112; castle taken 
by Enghsh, 161 ; city taken ... 212 

Surdj-ud-daula ; l'>7 

Sui'vey system 397 

Syads, the 


... 130 

Taimur the Tartar 47 

Talegaum, retreat from 177 

Talner, siege of 262 

Talpuris in Sind 295 

Tamerlane 47 

Tantia Topi... 351, 356, 379, 385, 387 

Tapti 4 

Tarabai, wife of Raj dram... 126, 129 

Tatta, factory at 296 

Taylor, Mr., sent to Calcutta... 173 

Tew, Capt 313 

Thags, repression of 286 

Thana, 65 ; taken by Marathas, 

140; by English 170 

Timojajof Kanara 64 

Tipu Sultan 188, 193, 205 

TodarMal 80 

Toghlak dynasty 40 

Tonk Rampura, fort of 231 

Toma 98 

Travancore 193 

Tiimbakji Dainglia 240, 243, 257 

Tripartite treaty 299 

Tulsi Bai Holkar 232 

Turban of Sind 296 

UmajiNaik 276 

Underi Island 321 

Upton, Col 174 

Upris 30 

Vaughaus, murder of 254 

Vedas (see Weds). 

I XL' EX. 



Vellore, mutiny of 233, 335 

Vicovick at Kabul 293 

Village communities 29 


Waite, Sir Nicholas 129 

Wakil-i-Mutluk 191 

Walker, Col 226,242 

Waller, Lieut 386 

Wargaum, convention of 177 

Wane, Lieut. , murdered 245 

Warren Hastings 1 73, 176 

Warsowa f ort IJO 

Wasil Muhammad 262 

Watson, Admiral, at Gheria 155 

Watson, Commodore 170 

Wedderbum, David 169 

Weds (Vedas) 13 

Wellesley, Major-General, 209, 
215 ; his opinions of the Mara- 
thas, 225 ; of the English sol- 
diers 331 

Wellesley, Marquis of 207 

Wheeler, Sir Hugh 352 

Whitlock, General 376 

Wijaydrug 135 


Willoughby, Sir John 323 

Willoughby, Lieut 350 

Wilson, General 354 

Windham, General 357 

Wingate, SirG 397,399 

Wishwas Rao 152, 159 

Woodbum, General 360 

Wooddington, Col 213, 217, 221 


Xavier 71 


Yeshwaut Rao Holkar (see Hol- 

Yeshwant Rao Ghorpure 250 

Yusuf Adil Shah 55 


Zaff ar Khan, AUa-ud-din Hassan 

Gangu Bahmani 42 

Zamoiin of Kalikat 59, 61 

ZemanKhan 206, 208 

Zemindars, or landlords 31 

Zinat Mahal 345 

Zulfikar Khan 130 




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